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MOUNTAINHOME -- More than 300 airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing returned to Mountain Home Thursday. The men and women were deployed in March to help with Operation Enduring Freedom in Southwest Asia.

Now, we are just kind of on pins and needles just waiting for daddy to come home, said Elizabeth Blackford, whose husband was one of the airmen deployed.

Blackford and her three children have been counting down the days for past six months.

They have a chain that they've made at home where they take a chain down every day, said Blackford. So, they know it has gotten closer and we are ready.

Christian Blackford, 7, and his younger sister Savanna, 5, already have big plans for their dad. They include family trips and eating ice cream.

The plane the airmen flew in on was delayed, making the wait even harder. But around 1:40 p.m. the airmen of the 366th Fighter Wing had landed safely in Mountain Home.

When the doors to the plane opened the airmen couldn't find their families fast enough.

Shane Blackford quickly picked out his wife and kids from the crowd. It's been a long time coming, he said. It feels awesome.

When some of the airmen got off the plane, they met new sons and daughters that had been born while they were deployed.

When you come down here, your head is I mean on a swivel, said Brent Shields.He was looking for his new son. I can't even say how I felt, it was just the greatest thing in the world, said Shields while he was holding his son.

Everyone was excited to be reunited with their families.

I finally got my second half back that makes me complete, said Thea Chavez after she found her husband.

The airmen will have three weeks off to spend time reconnecting with their families, then it is back to work.

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