44 Sailors with the Fighting Tigers return from 6 month deployment at NAS JAX Thursday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After a six month long deployment, the Fighting Tigers of Patrol Squadron 8 made it home.

Even the rain couldn’t stop the truly touching moment when Lt. Commander Ron Belany held his son for the first time.

Little Grey was born back in March.

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“He’s heavier than I thought he would be. It’s surreal, it really is. I don’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been happier,” Lt. Belany said.

His wife told us not having him home was hard.

“Getting to experience a newborn baby for the first time alone, I think, was the most challenging,” Kate said.

This week, Naval Air Station Jacksonville celebrated four homecomings with families holding signs saying, “I get my daddy back today” and “We love you dad.”

Forty-four sailors returned to NAS JAX on Thursday after they conducted a number of missions while deployed, including a recent search-and-rescue mission in Bali, Indonesia.

“For the Nanggala submarine, so that was a short notice. We pulled together and we were able to fly down there and execute a mission on the station,” Lt. Belany said.

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Half of the Fighting Tigers were deployed in Japan and the other half in the Middle East.

Lt. Belany said he couldn’t wait to get home and right now, he’s looking forward to getting used to his new role as a dad.

“Yeah, I have to learn how to do this thing. I read a book. I don’t think that will suffice,” Lt. Belany laughed.