By Oren Liebermann
FOLCROFT, Pa. (CBS) — The last few minutes of deployment are always the hardest.
“It’s been almost eight months since we’ve seen him,” said Michelle Maryea, while waiting for her son, Lt. Sean Murphy.
Lt. Murphy’s last minute homecoming has given everyone a reason to celebrate.
“Merry Christmas to us and everybody,” said Maryea, waiting in the terminal for her son to arrive.
Murphy’s son, 2-year-old Ethan, had trouble sitting still, running around the airport, barely able to contain his excitement. His grandmother is raising him while both of his parents serve overseas. His mother is still in Kuwait.
He got to know his parents on Skype.
“He goes, ‘Daddy, are you going to be big now instead of small?’ because he always saw his little picture on the phone,” Maryea laughed.
But sometimes, waiting for dad is better than waiting for Santa. Ethan ran into his father’s arms as he came through the security doors.
The homecoming began at the airport and lasted until Lt. Murphy was safe at home, surrounded by his family and neighbors.
“It was more of an escort than we got driving around over there,” laughed Murphy.
“It’s incredible. It’s beautiful. I’m speechless,” said Maryea.
Lt. Murphy and his family plan on having a quiet Christmas to reconnect before he has to head back to the service and start counting the months until the next homecoming.
“It’s a wonderful Christmas. God bless America,” Maryea said.
Lt. Murphy’s wife will be home in summer to complete the family homecoming.