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Members of Team Seymour watch as U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing return from a deployment, on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., Nov. 14, 2012. Families and friends welcomed approximately 150 Airmen after a six-month deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Aubrey White/Released)
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Loved ones welcome Airmen home from Middle East

Posted 11/16/2012   Updated 11/16/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Aubrey White
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/16/2012 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Families and friends welcomed home approximately 150 U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing after a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

Throughout the year, numerous Airmen deploy to various locations around the world, leaving behind loved ones and missing out on several special occasions in order to ensure the Air Force mission is accomplished.

"This was our second deployment together, but the first with children," said Torina Prechtel, spouse of Tech. Sgt. Matthew Prechtel, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. "Seeing my son's heart break since my husband left has been the hardest thing to deal with."

Although the stresses of military life may become more prevalent to these separated families since the Airmen's departure, Team Seymour's families attempted to stay occupied and some found ways to communicate and share exceptional moments with their loved ones through the use of modern technology.

"We used Skype, Face-Time and Facebook a lot," Torina said. "When I gave birth to our daughter, he was able to use Face-Time throughout the entire birth. He couldn't wait to finally meet her today."

The family of Staff Sgt. Jonathan Evans, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, decided to spend their time apart committing to a new, healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise.

"My son, daughters and I all decided together that we wanted to lose weight," said Elaine Evans, Jonathan's mother. "As a family we've lost a combined 300 pounds, and (Jonathan) hasn't seen us since we shed the weight, so this reunion is extra special for us."

Once the families were finally re-united, tears of joy ran from their eyes as they embraced one another. Prechtel was able to hold his 2-month old daughter for the first time, and families headed off to relax in the company of their returned loved ones -- and all in time for the Thanksgiving season.

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