U.S. Air Force Airmen Return Home To Big Welcome In Nashville
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Eight airmen from the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron came home Thursday after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Several dozen people waited outside the security gate at Nashville International Airport for the airmen to return, after several delays.
Brie Schmidt got a large crowd together to welcome her fiance George home.
"He's going to see everybody and be shocked. He doesn't know his parents are here, he doesn't know his cousins are here, he doesn't know our neighbors and friends are here," Schmidt said.
Virginia Blackmore waited for her husband David's return. This is the sixth time he has served overseas. She said the waiting never gets easy.
"I worry about him. We've been married nine years, I'm former military, and it doesn't get easier. There's still those fears," Blackmore said.
She was there with her son Conner. Blackmore did not tell the boy his father was coming home.
"We didn't want him to get his hopes up in case his daddy wasn't coming home on time, in case he was delayed, whatever the case may be," Blackmore explained.
Just before 7 o'clock the airmen started coming through the security gate, welcomed with hugs and tears.
Conner Blackmore saw his father and jumped into his arms, with tears in his eyes.
"I am so excited, my dad is home. My mom said it was going to be later on this month, I didn't know he was coming right now," the boy said.
Schmidt's fiance George Amberlang gave her a big hug. Surrounded by his friends and family Amberlang admitted Schmidt's plan was successful.
"She succeeded quite a bit in surprising me. I was expecting her to be here, then she brought friends and my family, who I had no idea was going to be here," Amberlang said.
The 19th Air Support Operations Squadron is based at Ft. Campbell, KY and offers support to the division's combat operations.