Fifty Oklahoma Air National Guard soldiers arrive in Tulsa after tour in Kabul, Afghanistan
6:07 PM, May 11, 2013
10:38 PM, May 11, 2013
Today at Tulsa International Airport, people waited for their family members -- Either their cousin, father, son or daughter. They have been gone for about nine months now, six of which were spent in an area where their lives were in harm's way.
One mother is will see a special gift this Mother's Day.
Nina Fioretti-Carol said she feels like her life has been going in circles this last year.
"When you're little, you can protect them," she said. "When they get older, that's when you have to trust God to keep them safe."
With her shaking sign, Fioretti-Carol waits at the airport's baggage claim, running on just a few hours of sleep. She stayed up until 2:30 in the morning making the sign.
But it is a small sacrifice to make to properly welcome home her son, Tristan Fioretti.
"It's probably bad, but I was counting down the days, then the hours," he said.
Fioretti enlisted in the Oklahoma Air National Guard nearly a decade ago, but this was his first deployment.
He says he never realized he took it for granted, and is grateful to be back on American soil.
"There are plenty of reasons, but the freedom, that's easily No. 1," Fioretti said. "The family, of course too."
Fioretti, 26, is one of 50 members of the 219th engineering installation squadron who came home to the Tulsa area today.
They spent most of their time in Kabul, Afghanistan, laying down hundreds of thousands of cable lines for communication.
"Did a lot of fiber work," Fioretti said. " A lot of trenching."
Fioretti-Carol is making her only son's favorite pork dinner tomorrow to celebrate her son's homecoming.
It's on the same day, Fioretti would normally celebrate her.
"What better present then getting your son home safe and sound," she said.
When the airmen leave the airport, they each will hop on a bus to go back to the Tulsa Air National Guard base, where their family members then get to take them home.
Families here in Tulsa were not the only ones happy to see their loved ones. Fort Sill is welcoming home 200 soldiers later tonight.