Petty Officer George Teague is happy to see his family after spending half the year on board the George Washington.
Teague is an electronics technician on F-18 fighters. He said that because of the situation in the Middle East, he was afraid the carrier would have to turn around and go back as it headed for port in Norfolk, Va.
Teague and the 7,500 other sailors on board were edgy until their feet hit the pier.
"Just in case," he said, "if the call came that we had to go back, we didn't want to get our hopes up too much."
But, there was no turning back. Teague's sister, mother and father were waiting for him in the rain upon the carrier's return.
When they wake up Wednesday to celebrate Christmas, the Teague family will be happy and proud - and feeling fortunate to be together.
Sister Mebane said she's closer than ever to her brother.
"We communicated more than we communited when he was here through e-mail every day," Mebane Teague said.
Dad said he is proud beyond words.
"Working on F-18s, it just blows me away," George Teague, Sr., said. "We're very proud."
The family said it feels blessed, knowing that there are a lot of military personnel still fighting, who can't be home for the holidays.
"It's a wonderful feeling," Petty Officer Teague said. "This is the only place I would choose to be at Christmas. Very thankful I was able to come home."
Teague said he hopes to leave the Navy in June. He plans to go back to school and get an MBA.