National Guardsmen, women return home after deployment

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) It's never easy to say goodbye when a family member deploys overseas. On Thursday, tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy as some families welcomed home their loved ones at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

The lobby was filled with families, some nervous, others anxious, all excited to be reunited.

"He has been gone since last May," Lisa Sneol said.

Sneol is talking about her son, Specalist Matthew Eaves, who has been between Qatar and Kuwait. On Thursday, he came home.

These tears had a much different meaning for mom.

"Happy tears this time, sad tears when he left because we knew he was going to miss Christmas and holiday get-togethers and family gatherings so it's happy tears this time," Sneol said.

Specialist Eaves spent his time in Qatar on basic security missions followed up by a two week trip to Kuwait for an air assault course. This was his second deployment since 2008.

"Never really gets easier to leave your family and friends and what not but it always feels really rewarding when you come back home and have all that support here," Matthew Eaves of the National Guard said.