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Utah Air Guardsmen return home for the holidays

SALT LAKE CITY - Master Sgt. Brent Davis from the 151st Security Forces Squadron, Utah Air National Guard, hugs his children after returning from a six-month deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Twenty two SFS Airmen arrived back to a crowd of friends and family members on Nov. 22, 2008.  The squadron members were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

SALT LAKE CITY - Master Sgt. Brent Davis from the 151st Security Forces Squadron, Utah Air National Guard, hugs his children after returning from a six-month deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Twenty two SFS Airmen arrived back to a crowd of friends and family members on Nov. 22, 2008. The squadron members were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

A Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 "Hercules" passes under a water-gun salute by the Utah Air National Guard fire department.  The plane carried 22 members of the 151st Security Forces Squadron who were returning home after being deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than six months.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

A Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 "Hercules" passes under a water-gun salute by the Utah Air National Guard fire department. The plane carried 22 members of the 151st Security Forces Squadron who were returning home after being deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than six months. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

Col. Kelvin Findlay, 151st Air Refueling Wing Commander,  welcomes home Master Sgt. Brian Gatherum of the 151st ARW Security Forces Squadron.  Sgt. Gatherum returned home after being deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than six months along with over 22 members of his squadron.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

Col. Kelvin Findlay, 151st Air Refueling Wing Commander, welcomes home Master Sgt. Brian Gatherum of the 151st ARW Security Forces Squadron. Sgt. Gatherum returned home after being deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than six months along with over 22 members of his squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Monson

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- "Warm up your hugs and kisses, they're four minutes out," announced the voice from the base loudspeaker as the long-awaited C-130 landed on the Salt Lake City tarmac Nov. 22.

After six months of separation from their family and friends, 25 members of the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Security Forces Squadron arrived home from their deployment to a cheering crowd, an arch of fire truck hoses, media cameras and a group of Patriot Guard motorcycle riders.

Some family members could hardly contain their excitement as they paced around in anticipation of the service members' return from supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

"I miss him so much, and I'm very happy to have him back," shouted nine-year-old Austin Davis as he eagerly waited to catch a glimpse of his dad, Master Sgt. Brent Davis. "We have a big banner sign in our yard saying, 'Welcome Home, Dad.' It's just really exciting to have him back." 

The SFS Airmen deployed on May 16, 2008 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During that time, they provided force protection for deployed coalition and non-combatant forces, convoy security, base defense and law enforcement. 

"We are very excited to have them home again," said 1st Lt. Kevin Larsen, 151st SFS commander. "They performed their mission superbly, and their families are thrilled to have them back." 

In preparation for their return, the SFS hosted fun events for the children of the deployed Airmen that included crafts and games. Some of the children even created clothing and posters to celebrate their family member's arrival.

"Almost every kid whose dad is gone has a shirt with pictures of his or her dad on it," said Austin Davis, as he modeled his white t-shirt stenciled with a photo of Master Sgt. Davis. "I also colored a banner and drew a big American flag on it."

The group arrived home just in time for the holidays.