Tears of joy streamed down the face of Mrs. Contreras, a mother who has not seen her son since he left for college. The Contreras family said goodbye to son and brother Jeff back in August. Now, he's back home for Thanksgiving, with a loving family quick to welcome him home.
"It was exciting, I've never felt so good. I hadn't seen them in so long. Especially mom. I haven't seen her in 3 1/2 months and it's tough I guess being without mom, but I'm real glad to see them," says Jeff. "It was great to see him, it really was. I'm proud of him for going to school and doing well," said Bobby Contreras, Jeff's dad.
For the Dahlstrom family, spending Thanksgiving together this year is of special importance. They recently lost the man they call the patriarch of their family, Harry Dahlstrom. They traveled this holiday from all around the country to be together. Nathan Dahlstrom came all the way from New York, "We've been blessed with a great family so we want to see them and keep those relationships strong."
Nathan's brother, Axel Liimatta, flew in with his family from Kentucky. He says, "We have a lot to be thankful for. God brought us close to family, and kept us safe and close."
In all, around 35 members of the Dahlstrom family are in Lubbock for the holiday. In-law, June Creasy of Tennessee, says she has been made to feel more than welcome. "They're a very warm family, they've taken me in on their family vacations, holidays and the family. You just don't ever get to big to invite someone else in."
Security officials at Lubbock International say Wednesday went smoothly. They expect Thanksgiving Day to be a much slower day.