300 Sailors onboard the USS Vicksburg return to Naval Station Mayport
MAYPORT, Fla. -- Three hundred sailors aboard the USS Vicksburg returned to Naval Station Mayport Monday after an eight month deployment.
The scene was loud and cheerful as the USS Vicksburg pulled into naval station, but Jamie Dudley stood quiet and extremely anxious.
"I'm a big ball of nerves right now. I'm having a hard time containing myself, I'm so excited I haven't seen him since February," says Dudley, as she talks about seeing her fiance' for the first time in eight months.
On Sunday, she's finally marrying her high school sweetheart, James Turner. The wedding date was changed several times due to Turner's deployment, but after a long wait, they say it's all worth it.
"How does it feel to see your fiance'?" "It's one of the best feelings in the world," replied James Turner, an airman with the U.S. Navy.
The USS Vicksburg deployed with the USS Enterprise carrier strike group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The mission was to conduct maritime security operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas.
Families lined up with welcome home signs to greet their sailors and whether this was their first deployment or seventh deployment, like the Laird's family, it's an emotional experience every time.
"It's butterflies all over again, yea, the kids are excited, we've counted down for a while now," says Denee Laird as she waited to be reunited with her husband.
"Words can't describe it. This is my seventh deployment, like I said, I have a great support system. The crew onboard Vicksburg has been great, it's been a long deployment, but it's good to be home," says Robert Laird Jr., Chief Operations Specialist, U.S. Navy.
About 13 Sailors returning to Naval Station Mayport were greeted by their newborn babies for the first time.
"I've been waiting eight months and he's [baby Elijah] been waiting his whole life, so we're both really excited," says Dee Bosworth, as she waited to be reunited with her husband.
First Coast News