By Brenda Waters


MOON (KDKA) – There were a lot of open arms for loved ones who returned home from the Middle East Friday afternoon.

About 150 airmen are back home.

The sights and sounds of them coming home never gets old. For the families of the returning airmen, it’s a blessing.

“That’s why I said four months ago my No. 1 goal was to get everyone home safe and I’m so pleased we’re able to do that,” said Col. Jeffrey Van Dootingh.

Four C-130 Hercules aircrafts landed at the 911th Airlift Wing carrying precious cargo.

“It’s hard, not just on us as the military members over there,” said Capt. Nick Hoth, “but the family, they’re our support, you know, we talk to them, we write back to them. Luckily now with social media we have email and Facebook and we can just keep in constant contact.”

Three returning got to see their babies for the first time, born while they were deployed. And 24-year-old Airman Michael Macaluso had a big surprise for his 21-year-old girlfriend Abigail Hite — a proposal of marriage. He says he bought the ring online.

“She said yes,” he said.

Capt. Nick Hoth, a father of three, says now that he’s back, he’ll pick up where he left off.

“I gotta wake up early and go coach soccer and baseball tomorrow, so I get thrown right back into the mix,” he said.

The planes that arrived today were supposed to come in at four different times, but Hoth said they wanted to show the families that the team that left together would return together.

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