Reporting Amy Johnson
POINT MUGU (CBS) — Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 arrived home on Wednesday after an 8-month deployment and nearly a dozen of them met their newborns for the first time.
Michlene Stone’s husband missed the birth of their daughter Jolene, now 7 months old, while on deployment.
“It just worked out very perfectly. Coming in on the Fourth with our men being deployed, serving our country so we have our freedom,” she told CBS2′s Amy Johnson.
Meantime, Petty Ofcr. Joshua Burner made it home just in the nick of time as wife Sabrina is due in just four days.
“I feel so blessed. I can’t even describe how I feel. I’m just extremely happy to be home. To be here with her for the birth, everything,” he said.
The return of the Seabees marks the beginning of one chapter in their lives and the end of another.
“It’s definitely very special for an NMCB 40 to come home on the Fourth of July because it is our final deployment before we decommission,” said Lt. CMDR. Ben Miller.
The Construction Battalion has spent the past eight months in places like Japan, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia where they built and repaired schools and medical clinics and provided clean drinking water.
More than 300 other members are expected to return home later this summer.