MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Family members waited and waited, and finally, their heroes showed up Friday at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Six members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band have been boosting troop morale by playing their instruments overseas.
On this day, just the sight of them brought smiles to every face in the room.
"To land and be looking out the window and then to finally come in and actually see them, I can't even explain it," says Tech Sgt. Steven Moore. "Emotionally, it's a great feeling, and I'm just so overwhelmed and happy to be home."
"I was just very excited to see my wife again," says Master Sgt. Douglas Tejada. "And to get home and spend some time. It's been a long time."
Members of the band welcomed home their comrades with none other than the Air Force's theme song.
"It's the best feeling," says Staff Sgt. Frances Kness. "It tickled me, because we're used to being the ones to play it for everyone else, so to hear it and see them playing it as we're walking off the plane, was very fun for me to hear and to see."
Chief Master Sgt. Mark Burditt, who's the manager of the band, says coming home from overseas is a feeling soldiers will never forget.
"From personal experience, I can just tell you, you'll have a whole new appreciation for living in this country," says Burditt. "It's just an amazing experience."
Because of spending cuts across the board in our military, the band will be inactivated on June 1.
The four month tour the soldiers returned from Friday was the band's last trip overseas.
Burditt tells us they'll still perform in small groups, but the large-scale performances they've put on for middle Georgia crowds are likely a thing of the past.