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LOCAL

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2014

THE SUMTER ITEM

MATT WALSH / THE SUMTER ITEM

Families and friends wait early Friday morning to catch a glimpse of loved ones for the first time in more than five months as the 79th Fighter Squadron made its way back to Shaw Air Force Base from a deployment to the Middle East. About 200 members of the “Tigers” squadron were deployed.

TIGERS FROM PAGE A1 probably have one of their daddy-daughter dates.” The excitement of the kids was matched by the airmen coming off the plane. Capt. Craig Baker hadn’t been able to watch his 15-month-old daughter, Halle, grow up over the last few months.

“We only got Wi-Fi around Thanksgiving,” the captain said, so families weren’t able to have videophone conversations for most of the airmen’s time in the region. Baker’s wife, Lindsey, used the chance to update him on their daughter’s development. “She was a little smaller than this,” she said. “Now she can crawl and say a few words.” “I’ve missed a lot,” he said.

“Now I’m just excited to be home.” Laurence Bohannon was overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment he hugged his daughter, Sarai. “Words cannot describe how it feels holding my daughter again,” he said. “I just wanted to see my family.” Rikki Glowacki was similarly speechless after running to kiss her returning husband, Senior

Airman Cam Glowacki. “I don’t think I can put it into words,” she said. “It feels great.” For a long time, Airman Glowacki was content to stand outside in the cold, cradling his wife in his arms for the first time in six months. “This is all I’ve been waiting for,” he said. Reach Bristow Marchant at (803) 774-1272.

MATT WALSH / THE SUMTER ITEM

Laurence Bohannon gets a kiss from his daughter, Sarai, after returning home from Jordan.

AIRMAN 1ST CLASS MICHAEL A. COSSABOOM / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Christopher Cummins, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron munitions technician, holds his daughter Harper Cummins after returning home from deployment Friday. Cummins returned home from a fivemonth deployment to his wife and daughter. U.S. Air Force Capt. Craig Baker, 79th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, kisses his wife, Lindsey Baker, after returning to Shaw Air Force Base from a five-month deployment to U.S. Central Command’s Area of Responsibility on Friday. AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JONATHAN BASS / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM

AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JENSEN STIDHAM / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM

A U.S. Air Force senior airman assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing high-fives a fellow airman after returning to Shaw. The returning airmen were greeted by commanders, supervisors and first sergeants immediately after getting off the aircraft. U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan Miller, left, 79th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, embraces his wife Jaime after being away from family and friends for more than five months. AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JENSEN STIDHAM / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM

February 8, 2014  
February 8, 2014  
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