PHOENIX - It's a Christmas to remember for some very happy military families because their soldiers made it home in time for the holidays after serving in Afghanistan.
"We would have been here last night if they would have had the gates open," Jan Beazer said.
Norman and Jan Beazer can hardly contain their excitement.
"Best Christmas present ever," Jan said.
They get to see their son for the first time in more than nine months.
"277 days," Norman said.
They've been counting the days along with every other family member who spent Christmas Eve morning anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 819th Engineer Company.
The soldiers were in Afghanistan, charged with detecting and eliminating improvised explosive devices on roadways.
The danger of the job made the wait even harder.
"It's the worry. You never know for sure about the safety. You don't get to hug them and see them. As parents you raise your kids, you're there to protect them so to send them away to war, I wanted to go with him just to protect him," Norman said.
After what felt like the longest wait ever, the men and women marched in to the screams of people who really had something to cheer for.
And after a few formalities, it was time to say hello and reunite with the heroes who fought for our freedom, then fought to get home in time for Christmas.