After a 7month deployment to Afghanistan, the Golden Eagles of Squadron 162 of Marine Corps Air Station New River came home to a sea of family and friends Tuesday night.
One couple shared the moments leading up to their anxiously awaited return of their son.
Vickie Pritchard says once their son was in the marines she had fears.
"The whole time he was gone I was just, you know, scared."
After a 7-month deployment and a 9.5 hour drive from Florida time couldn't pass quickly enough. Corporal Joshua Pritchard was on his way home with Squadron 162.
"I went to sleep bout one, woke up about two-- haha!" said Joshua's dad Ken.
Joshua's parents nerves were as high as hundreds readied to welcome home their heroes, and about 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, the wait was over as a wave of people covered the landing strip. Through the crowd the Pritchards found their corporal.
"I always knew I'd give my life to protect him when he was a child and now he does the same for me," said Ken.