Update, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: See for another USS Carl Vinson reunion.
The promise of seeing loved ones they hadn't hugged or touched for months was enough to keep spirits up for the throngs who crowded a North Island Naval Air Station pier Wednesday as the USS Carl Vinson returned after six months at sea.
They encountered hurdles along the way for sure, as lanes near and on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge were closed twice by accidents in the morning as cars packed the freeway and highway for the carrier's homecoming.
But the motorists would make it to the base soon enough for the “Welcome Home” signs to be held aloft, for the rush into loved ones' arms and for the tears to flow onto their shoulders.
A year ago the carrier returned to Coronado after being part of a mission that will be remembered by history – .
This time the USS Carl Vinson completed a deployment that began Nov. 30, .
The ship also marked while at sea.