MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dozens of deployed airmen got a very special welcome to Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.

Members of Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133 Airlift Wing touched down in St Paul after spending six months deployed overseas in the Middle East. They were responsible for the C-130 aircraft, which transports troops and equipment into hostile areas.

Lauren Shegstad and her three young children have been apart for months from husband and father Staff Sgt. Nicholas Shegstad.

“I’m OK with sacrifice, but the hardest part is watching my children sacrifice,” Lauren said. “it wasn’t something I knew was going to be so intense.”

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Shegstad reunites with one of his children (credit: CBS)

Samantha Taylor was also on hand for her husband’s return.

“We’re excited,” Samantha said. “This is our second deployment.”

When the C-130s came into view, the families cheered. The months of waiting were over.

“So happy,” Staff Sgt. Shegstad said. “I’ve been waiting to see them a long time.”

There will also be a group of airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing returning home on Friday. It will be celebrating 100 years of history next year.

Kate Raddatz