December 15, 2003 at 10:52 PM EST - Updated September 26 at 6:05 PM
Christmas came early this year for soldiers and families of the 650th Transport Unit.
Nearly one year ago the reserve unit left Wilmington for a tour that took them to Turkey and Kuwait, where they worked to unload ships and supplies to support infantry divisions in operation Iraqi freedom.
7-year-old Caleb Spencer thought he was waiting for Santa Claus. Little did he know, he was really waiting for his mom. She is an Army Reservist in the 650th Transportation Unit that departed from Wilmington, just one day after Christmas.
Friday night, families and friends of the 650th unit gathered for the long-awaited homecoming at Pope Air Force Base.
The Solider have spent the last 11 months over seas. For some, it's the first time seeing their children. Or the first time a mother sees her son - now a man. And for Caleb, it's a Christmas surprise.
Tears of joy filled a warehouse of families, now reunited.
But even though they are home, the 650th unit will spend a week at Fort Bragg, where they will begin their demobilization process. Then they will reunite with their families once again - home for the holidays.