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      Military Mom receives heroes welcome

      Melissa Dion hugs the crowd after landing Tuesday night in Myrtle Beach. / Whitney Gramling

      It was a late night arrival for SSG Melissa Dion Tuesday night at Myrtle Beach International Airport, but that didn't stop about 30 people from giving the solider a heroes homecoming.

      Members of Rolling Thunder and the Blue Star Mothers were among those who greeted SSG Melissa Dion, who just returned from a year deployment in South Korea.

      "Oh my God, it was crazy! There were people forever. It was just a mile long line of people to say welcome home to me. It was quite, quite amazing," she said.

      Dion has served in the army for 18 years, including two tours in 2004 and 2006 in Iraq. The best part about this homecoming though, Dion says was seeing her 11 year old son, Ryan. The mother and son's bond stretches across oceans.

      While stationed for a year-long assignment at Camp Casey in North Korea, Ryan has been staying with Melissa's parents, Al and Carol, in Myrtle Beach.

      "They all were right at the front of the line. We were crying and gave each other big hugs," Melissa said, her eye still filled with tears of joy to be home with her family.

      Throughout the time away, Melissa and Ryan would communicate almost daily via Skype. But for the whole family, having Mom back home, safe, and in person, is the best feeling of all.

      "We sat at the house and stared at the computer screen until it said that they were no longer boarding and that the plane was taking off and then we left! ," Carol Dion said.

      Melissa says the first thing she wants to do, after flying more than 15 hours is to take a nice hot shower, and get a cell phone. Ryan says first thing he and mom will probably do Tuesday is eat at Mash's Veteran's caf.

      "He has the best chicken enchilada soup!" Melissa said.