Local heroes return home to Air National Guard base in East Granby

A hundred airmen and women returned home to East Granby on Monday. (WFSB photo)

Dozens of emotional homecomings happened on Monday night as a team of Connecticut heroes returned home from serving their country and spending months away from their families.

Nearly 100 airmen and women arrived in Connecticut on Monday after serving for the last six months in southeast Asia.

The emotion overflowed as the families were reunited.

"It's tough when it's your soul mate," said Joshua Gerhart, who reunited with his wife.

The service members are part of the 103rd Air Control Squadron with the National Guard. They were responsible for commanding and coordinating air battle management.

They do important work overseas, but they do important work at home as well.

Their families called them fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

The Hilario family agreed to let Eyewitness News capture their reunion.

"It's hard being away from him, it's hard being away from daddy, ya know?" said Susan Hilerio, who reunited with her husband. "But, we're a strong family."

Master Sgt. Luis Hilerio said he couldn't believe how much his 3-year-old son had grown.

He said he most looks forward to spending time with his family.

"You're constantly nervous, you're constantly worrying," Susan Hilerio said. "Not having that second half with you every time, it's hard."

But all that went away on Monday night.

"She's got a mission to do, just like many of them," Gerhart said. "And you know, I hold onto that and they're protecting what we love to do here."

Another 300 airmen and women are set to return home in the next few months.

Eyewitness News thanks all of them for their service.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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