126th Air Refueling Wing reunited with family at Scott Air Force Base

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – A dozen families are especially thankful for some homecomings at Scott Air Force Base.

Across America, Thanksgiving for many families means getting together.

That’s true at Scott Air Base, where reunions can be extra special. A KC-135 tanker and its 12-person crew landed at Scott on Wednesday. The crew had been gone for 90 days.

It can be tough being separated from family for so long.

“There’s always homesickness when we deploy and when we’re gone especially,” said Brigadier General Peter Nezamis, Illinois Air National Guard. “That ramp-up to the holidays you’re ready to get home and you’re ready to be with your loved ones because you know they’re all gathered, ready for you to be here.”

The family of pilot Major Mark Tisius was waiting for his return, including his wife, Shelly, and their 4-year-old daughter, Molly. It’s been a tough three months.

“It’s hard to explain to a 4-year-old when is he coming home,” Shelly Tisius said.

Members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing have been refueling military aircraft over war zones in Afghanistan. It’s the kind of mission that causes family members to worry and say many prayers.

“I light a candle. Candles lit all the time at church,” said Betty Tisius, Mark’s grandmother.

Tears of joy flowed as Mark was reunited with his wife and daughter.

It’ll be a wonderful holiday, Mark said.

“It’s good to be back for Thanksgiving. There’s still a lot of people over there so a special treat to be home for this,” he said.

Shelly Tisius added: “Having him home after a long trip and getting off the plane safely, especially with a daughter, it’s really a lot. Can’t even describe it to you.”

The airmen cannot be deployed again for at least 15 months.

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