Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Samantha Hayes reportingTAMMIE MOLDER/RIVERTON: "THIS IS A SHOCK. WE GOT A CALL LAST NIGHT THAT HE WOULD BE HOME TODAY."
Tammie Molder, like nearly 100 other family members at the Utah Air National Guard base, is eagerly awaiting the return of someone special.
TAMMIE MOLDER/RIVERTON: "I JUST STARTED CRYING. I'M SO HAPPY, SO GLAD TO SEE HIM, BECAUSE HE IS MY BEST FRIEND AND SO IT'S GOING TO BE NICE TO SEE HIM."
Although its been just over a month, the announcement of her husband's return comes at a particularly good time.
TAMMIE: "I'M PREGNANT AND WE WERE JUST A LITTLE NERVOUS THAT MAYBE HE WOULDN'T BE BACK IN TIME FOR THE BABY."
Turns out, he is on time. Tammie's husband operates the boom during refueling missions. He is one of 75 returning airmen.
LT. COL SHAW/UTAH AIR NATIONAL GUARD: "THE NEED TO HAVE 15-30 AIR REFUELERS IS NO LONGER THERE. MOST OF THE AIRPLANES NEEDED IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE ALREADY THERE."
SAMANTHA HAYES/EYEWITNESS NEWS: "WHEN THIS UNIT WAS ACTIVATIED OVER A MONTH AGO THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD BE GONE AS LONG AS A YEAR. SO WHILE TODAY IS A NICE SURPRISE, FAMILY MEMBERS KNOW THAT DEPLOYMENT ORDERS CAN COME AGAIN AS EARLY AS TOMORROW."
BLAKE MOLDER/RIVERTON: "I HOPE NOT, BUT THINGS HAPPEN. IT COULD."
It's images like this one, though, that keep them going. The hope that no matter what the assignment, a little girl will be able to run into her daddy's arms. A son can hug his father tight, and a long anticipated kiss will happen again.
TIM:"COULDN'T WAIT TO GET HERE. IT WAS A LONG FLIGHT."
About 25 people are still working overseas in the refueling arm. Some of those returning today may be called soon to swap out duties so the rest can make a visit home, too.