Six months ago, B-52 bombers from the Minot Air Force Base deployed overseas for combat operations for the first time in 12 years. Now, they have returned home.
There's no telling what life will throw at you.
One minute you're with your family, the next you're thousands of miles away from home missing out on family milestones.
"They were times where they were like, 'Hey I miss my daddy. Why isn't Daddy here for my birthday?' But overall it hasn't been too bad. Daddy got to call and sing happy birthday" says Spouse, Nicole Smith.
Trying times for family's, especially the kids.
"Not having him around to talk to and to play with and I missed him a lot" says Daughter, Kat Smith.
For six months, these airmen were overseas away from friends and family, working some long hours.
"Them not being there after you get off an 12 hour shift, you're just going back into an empty room" says SSgrt, Joshua Olson.
Fortunately, technology can make things a little bit easier.
"I'm definitely thankful for facetime. That has been super nice. I can't imagine not having facetime and having to wait on letters. I'm just looking forward to him coming home every night and being able to see him and talk to him and make sure he's okay" says Fiance, Jill Toll.
Airmen are always on the move.
Some are returning home while some are packing their bags.
"An event like this is bittersweet because not only do we bring folks in, we also sending them out the door as a replacement. For the family's of the folks coming home, what an awesome day and what an awesome event. It's good to see them come back home" says Col. Jamie Humphries.
The airmen have a few weeks to themselves to relax and catch up with friends and family.
The B-52 remained in the Middle East to be used by the replacement squad that will deploy soon.