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Indiana service members come home to joyous reunions on busiest travel day in years

Thousands of passengers passed through Indianapolis International Airport Wednesday, setting the stage for several emotional reunions.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis International Airport is expecting 90,000 people to fly in and out of the airport this Thanksgiving season. That's almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

One of those travelers was Emily Guymon's husband, Christopher. The past 10 months have been difficult for Emily and her husband, Christopher.

He is in the Army. The couple were married only five months before Christopher was deployed to Iraq.

"It's very hard and very hectic. Every day, you don't know if you're going to get a phone call or somebody knocking on your door. When you don't hear from someone for so long, you start to worry," said Emily.

Emily, family and friends gathered at the Indianapolis International Airport to give Christopher a hero's welcome home.

"It's awesome. We are so happy he is home, and he gets to spend Thanksgiving with us. All his other birthday and holidays he spent in Iraq. So, he actually gets to be home and we are so thankful he gets to come home," said Emily.

Credit: WTHR
Christopher Guymon hugs his wife, Emily, after he returned home to Indianapolis from Iraq.

After an 18-hour flight, Christopher is looking forward to some rest and relaxation. 

"Relaxing and spending time with family. Just getting all of this time back that I lost being gone. You don't get that much time with family as it is," said Christopher.

Christopher was among dozens of service members like Nehemiah Walton to arrive Wednesday.

He flew countless hours from Kuwait to surprise his family for Thanksgiving. Walton is in the Army and he's from Indianapolis.

He's been away for nine months on deployment. Walton's family had no idea he was coming home for Thanksgiving.

The surprise is just one of the blessings he's thankful for this year.

Credit: WTHR
Nehemiah Walton flew from Kuwait to surprise his family for Thanksgiving.

"There were some struggles coming from where I was stationed in, Afghanistan especially. There were nights where you think you're not going to make it. This Thanksgiving, the season of giving and being with family, it definitely means a lot more. My family was worried. I was worried. There were some ups there were some downs - and now I'm home," said Walton.

He said it's good to be home.

“I totally love serving my country and I would do it again any day. But it’s nice to be back home and detox and relax,” said Walton.