U.S.S. New Hampshire comes home to New London - WFSB 3 Connecticut

U.S.S. New Hampshire comes home to New London

Posted: Updated:
Petty Officer Benjamin Gaston proposes to his girlfriend of five years, Sarah Eastwood. (WFSB) Petty Officer Benjamin Gaston proposes to his girlfriend of five years, Sarah Eastwood. (WFSB)
NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

The 130 crew members of the U.S.S. New Hampshire finally came home to port New London on Wednesday.

The families were in New London to greet the New Hampshire. It left Groton back in May and made ports of call in Norway, Scotland and France

Somewhere in Europe, Petty Officer Benjamin Gaston went shopping for an engagement ring for his girlfriend of five years Sarah Eastwood, who he proposed to on the pier the first chance he got.

"I said yes of course,” Eastwood said.

Gaston told Eyewitness News he was “feeling awesome.”

“I was nervous. Been together five years, but still really made me nervous,” Gaston said.

Homecomings are reunions, hug fests for families and little loved ones.  

Then there are the veterans who have served and continue to serve such as Ron Smith, retired from the army. Greeting his submariner home with his twin sailors, Shane and Shawn Smith, of Buffalo.

"I'm very proud of them. Good men,” Ron Smith said. “In fact, these two are Eagle Scouts, Master scuba divers and they're serving their country."

"That's what he always taught us,” Shawn Smith said. “Commitment, fulfilling the mission and everything like that and serving."

During this deployment, 12 sailors re-enlisted to further their commitment.

"It means a lot when your son or daughter go into the military you're nervous and you pray a lot,” Gralyn Bond, who was greeting her son, said. “And it’s just really rewarding."

"Serving the military makes the Country much stronger and when you have your child do such a duty and chore it just makes you feel that much better because you're helping out America,” Joel Bond said. 

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.