In the crowd, Air Force mom Tammy Farris. For the last four months, sending care packages to Afghanistan was the closest she could get to her son, Thomas Stanley. In her arms, an armful of goodies for the men and women returning home.
"Oh it's for everybody," Farris said, "I couldn't cook one cookie, are you kidding? Everybody has to have it. "
In just minutes, Farris would get to see her son, who's also a husband and father to a baby boy.
"This is all I can do to help the guys come back, send packages, so be it," she said, "Nothing is more important ever. "
As the Star Spangled Banner played, our country's heroes touched down. Farris' son was now home, ready to settle in to his home life with his son.
"He's a lot bigger than he was when i left. It'll take some time to get know him again, but I'm excited, looking forward to it," Stanley said.
Theirs was just one of dozens just like it. Lt. Col. Tim Julian couldn't wait to see his two little girls.
"There's no feeling in the world that can really explain the emotion you go through after being away for four months," Julian said.
His excitement to be home was matched only by his daughters' excitement to have him back.
"It's just a really nice reminder of everything that you're over there fighting for," Stanley said, "Everything we're doing to make sure we stay secure over here."