Buses and vans rolled in one by one to the Marines Corps Air Station Cherry Point base.
Inside these vehicles, about 150 Marines, returning home after a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan.
Among these Marines, is Sergeant Michael Keaty. Sergeant Keaty joined the military when he was 18 years old. He is a aviation electrician for the Marine Corps.
Keaty arrived to Havelock on Friday afternoon, after taking a 20 hour flight from overseas. His arrival came just in the nick of time to say two special words to his 1-year-old daughter.
"Happy birthday," Keaty said to his daughter, Gianna.
It's been 6 months since Keaty has seen his daughter, due to his deployment. The moment he locked eyes on her the first words out his mouth were, "Hi munchkin," as he kissed Gianna and played with her face.
Also there to support Sergeant Keaty at his arrival was his wife, Ashley. The pair has been married for five years and Gianna is their first child.
"I'm just happy he's home," Mrs. Keaty said. "I've just been so anxious."
Sergeant Keaty stepped off the bus, spending his first few moments searching for the two familiar faces he knew were somewhere waiting.
"It took me a while to find them [in the crowd] but my heart just sinks when I see them it's a real good feeling," Keaty said, standing beside his wife and daughter.
Sergeant Keaty doesn't know how long he'll be home, but says he looks forward to spending time with his daughter and wife.