SAN DIEGO —

About 4,500 sailors and Marines returned home to Naval Base San Diego Wednesday after a seven-month deployment in the Arabian Gulf conducting exercises with partner nations.

Loved ones started cheering as soon as they could see the USS Boxer pull in. 

Eleven-year-old Robbie Evans was excited to see his dad.

“It’s been so long,” said Evans. “He’s been in the military since I was born.”

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Kaitlyn Doyle introduced her five-month-old daughter, Evelyn, to her dad for the first time. 

“We’ve only been able to FaceTime a handful of times,” said Kaitlyn.

When News 8 asked these sailors and Marines what they’re looking forward to this Thanksgiving, they said “being together.”