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Cutter Valiant steams home for First Coast for Thanksgiving

5:52 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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MAYPORT, Fla. --  Fifty days at sea for the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant ended with a dockside reunion as families waited for loved ones on the eve of Thanksgiving.

"He is ready for daddy to be home," said Karalana Stieren holding her two year-old son Maddoxx, who was dressed in Coast Guard gear.

The Stieren family relocated to the First Coast from New York after the Cutter Valiant made Mayport its home port in August.

Ivette Lyons was also among the families who greeted loved ones following the ship's deployment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lyons, a Jacksonville native, is glad to back home after several years being in Miami with her husband, Stephen.

"He (Stephen) probably missed about four Thanksgivings so far since being in the military. So this is special, everybody back home in Jacksonville," said Lyons, who graduated from Sandalwood High.

The 80-member crew of the Valiant also expects to home for the Christmas holiday as well.

First Coast News