KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This is the time of year when airport terminals across the country are providing a stream of Norman Rockwell moments. Service men and women are making their ways home like many other travellers, but looking forward to a reunion made all the sweeter by the miles they've travelled, and the separation they've endured.
Heather Yearber and Brooke Conner said goodbye six months ago to Heather's son and Brooke's fiance, Colton. It's been a difficult six months.
"I love being able to hold his hand and hug him and kiss him, and it's really hard when he's not here," Brooke says.
The 18 year-old is fulfilling his life-long dream of being in the Army, in the Airborne Infantry. His life's dream causes his mom some anxiety.
"I don't like the idea of him being deployed, so it's scary," says Heather.
The day before Thanksgiving, mom and fiance are glued to the window, watching for any sign of Colton. They just can't wait to say hello.
"I'm gonna try not to, but I'll cry because I haven't seen him, and he is the love of my life," Heather explains.
For weeks, his mom's prepared for Colton's return, weeks that felt like years.
Time continues to crawl until the plane from Atanta finally arrives, and after a long line of people, Colton appears. Brooke and Heather run to the door to finally say their hellos.
Colton's shy, but he's happy.
"I haven't seen them. I mean I miss them!" he exclaims.
His mom doesn't hold back the tears. His fiance doesn't let go of his hand. For four days, this family hopes it feels like the old days. Even if it's temporary.
"If I could see him for 5 minutes, you know, it's fine, just as long as i get to see my baby," Heather says.
A short hello, a reason to be thankful, even if goodbye is right around the corner.