GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — This homecoming was more than seven months in the making and for those gathered on the Submarine base’s waterfront in Groton it couldn’t come soon enough.
Among the many waiting for the USS Dallas to pull into port is six-month-old Emma Sirhal. This is the first time she’ll meet her dad and although he’s been in the Navy for 16 years this homecoming may be special for him.
Her husband Eammon Sirhal was the first off the ship and the first to see his now expanded family.
For the family granted the traditional first kiss it was a sprint to welcome home Michael Lewis.
Ryan Cherkauskas was surprised to see his entire family including his sister Elizabeth who is also in the navy. She’s stationed in Key West.
“It is incredible,” says Elizabeth Cherkauskas. “I can’t stop crying. I’m so happy to finally see him. It’s been way too long.”
This is expected to be the final deployment for the USS Dallas. It was originally scheduled for decommissioning in 2014 but that was extended now to possibly 2017.