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With every deployment, airmen are faced with the battles of separation and distance from their loved ones while they’re serving their country, often thousands of miles away. But with every bittersweet goodbye, come momentous homecomings.

Last week, Hurlburt Field held its Operation Homecoming event, where families and friends of servicemembers of the nation’s busiest air force base gather to await being reunited at the Deployment Control Center on Hurlburt Field, outside Fort Walton Beach. Families and friends of 59 Air Commandos gathered to welcome home their loved ones from a deployment overseas.

Tech Sgt. Andrew Melton, 4th Special Operations Squadron special missions aviator, embraces his loved ones after returning home from a deployment during Operation Homecoming at the Deployment Control Center on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 7, 2015. Families and friends of 59 Air Commandos from gathered to welcome home their loved ones from a deployment overseas. (U.S. Air Force photos by Airman Kai White/Released)

Tech Sgt. Andrew Melton, 4th Special Operations Squadron special missions aviator, embraces his loved ones after returning home from a deployment during Operation Homecoming at the Deployment Control Center on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 7, 2015. Families and friends of 59 Air Commandos from gathered to welcome home their loved ones from a deployment overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Air Commandos are reunited with their families and friends during Operation Homecoming at the Deployment Control Center on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 7, 2015. Families and friends of 59 Air Commandos gathered to welcome home their loved ones from a deployment overseas. (U.S. Air Force photos by Airman Kai White/Released)

Air Commandos are reunited with their families and friends during Operation Homecoming at the Deployment Control Center on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 7, 2015. Families and friends of 59 Air Commandos gathered to welcome home their loved ones from a deployment overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

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