Families reunite for Thanksgiving at Mitchell Airport

Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-23 02:33:11-05

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year at Mitchell International Airport, but most of the travel stress was quickly squashed by happy reunions with loved ones.

TODAY'S TMJ4 was there as hundreds of travelers were greeted with hugs, kisses, and happy tears. 

National Guardsman Jordan Strempke surprised his little sister, Faith, by coming home for the holiday.

"Getting to see Faith and my parents, and all my family, is just something else," he said. "It's just awesome. I'll get to sleep in my own bed! Being here is huge for me. I didn't think I'd get this opportunity."

Jordan's parents told Faith, 6,  that they were taking her to the airport to watch the planes. Then her brother came walking toward her. 

"Faith especially has really missed her brother lately," Jordan and Faith's mom, Stacy, said. "She's been sleeping with his picture, and sleeping with his dog tags on her."

Faith is the reason Jordan joined the National Guard. He wanted to be something better. 

"Just a good example," he said. "I wanted to be someone she can look up to. I also want to protect her."

Jordan has a four-day leave before he heads to Iraq for nearly a year.

"To have him home for four days is a blessing," said their father, Jeff. "Now the holiday is complete."

"I love my kids, and always want all of them with me," Stacy said. "That's why this is probably the best Thanksgiving I've ever had."