Heartfelt homecoming at Naval Air Station Jacksonville draws smiles and tears Wednesday morning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Serving one’s nation overseas is an honor, but never easy.

At Naval Air Station Jacksonville Wednesday morning, a plane full of military service men and women returned home at last from a six-month deployment overseas in Japan, serving in maritime patrol and reconnaissance, greeted with open arms by their loved ones after six long months apart.


“They were very hard. It’s not easy to be away from their soulmate, but it’s worth it,” Amy Hart said, looking longingly at her husband, Lieutenant Dale Hart.

“It’s amazing, I am so proud of her. I’m so excited to see her. We’re just excited that she’s home,” Donna Jones said of her daughter Truleea Jones.

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Those returning Wednesday morning said they consider it an honor to serve in the military and overseas, but they’re happy to finally be home, reunited with family at last.

“It was really hard, she’s talking so much, like she’s changed so much and I’m kind of sad that I missed it, but I’m excited to see everything that she’s really doing,” Truleaa Jones said while holding her baby girl.

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