The Marines of the HMH-362 are back home in Hawaii, ending a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. The mission also marks the end of an era for the squadron.
This was the second deployment for Autumn Sedrick and her family. Michaela was only 9-weeks-old when Capt. Michael Sedrick left for Afghanistan.
"He loves his job, he loves flying and it's good that he can do that for the country. But it's nice that he's going to be coming home," said Autumn Sedrick, who with her husband, has four children under the age of seven.
The more than 100 marines and sailors of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362, also known as the "Ugly Angels," were tasked with flying cargo and personnel through some of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan, even coming under fire.
So the arrival in Kaneohe of the plane carrying the Marines was, understandably, emotional.
"Knowing where he was, was difficult, especially with the nature of the wars now. Anything can happen, there's really no frontline," said John Yeager, whose son, Patrick is a mechanic with the HMH-362. "I'm so proud, so very proud."
Particularly happy is the family of Staff Sgt. Andrew Peterson, who was awarded a Purple Heart after he was shot in the back while evacuating Marines during a raid of a suspected weapons compound.
"We landed on the ground and the Marines started coming in the helicopter and all of a sudden I felt like I just got punched in the back," said Peterson.
Peterson was 18 days into the mission when he was shot. The homecoming is hard to put into words for most of those arriving back in Hawaii.