Eighteen Security Forces Airmen with the Illinois Air National Guard are back home.
Family and friends welcomed 13 of them to the Peoria International Airport Wednesday evening after several months' deployment in Southwest Asia.
Dan Smith could not wait to get his son back home.
"Just get him back, relaxed and get him a little bit unwound," Smith says. "Our initial plan is whatever he wants to eat."
SSGT William Patrick says he's got some catching up to do.
"Getting to be with my kids. I've been gone for six months now and they've grown so much," says Patrick. "It's ridiculous how much kids change in that short of time."
Patrick and Smith both spoke with news partner News 25.
The men and women, with the 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria, were responsible for law enforcement and security missions overseas.
Five more airmen returned home before Wednesday.