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Airmen Return to Seymour Johnson

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON — Families at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base are happier than they have been in weeks.

Hundreds of airmen who have been serving overseas in Turkey are finally coming home, and they are returning without ever having to see action in Kosovo.

It is a good day for Senior Airman Brian Bahret. His three-week deployment to an air base in Turkey has ended, and he came home to his wife and two children.

"The local population just loved to have us there. I missed the kids, and I'm real happy to be back," said Bahret.

He is back months earlier than anyone expected when he and hundreds of others left for the Balkans.

Bahret's wife had hoped the six-month deployment would end early, but she did not know for sure until his plane touched down Wednesday morning.

"You hear a lot of 'mights,' so when it was definite, that was the best. I knew what was going on, but you never know what's going to happen until it's final," said Bahret's wife.

While the Bahrets enjoy the unexpected time together, Iisha Scott is still playing the waiting game.

Her husband, Jovan, is one of 400 airmen who will not be home until later this week. Even though the deployment was cut short, this is the longest the couple has ever been apart.

"It takes a lot of getting used to, especially when we were just dating. I'm used to him being around all the time, and we're still newlyweds. You get used to it. You make good friends here on base," said Scott.

Families all over the country are looking forward to happy homecomings as Americans return from Yugoslavia. Planes are also returning.

The Pentagon says a dozenB-52 Bombersthat flew strike missions started heading back to their U.S. bases Wednesday from England. In all, nearly 400 U.S. planes will return to normal duty soon.

Also, theAir Forcehasrescinded its "stop loss" order. The order was enacted as the war in Kosovo heated up and prevented all "essential personnel" from retiring, or leave the service. As of Wednesday, those men and women are allowed to resume their plans.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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