Petty Officer Thomas McKenzie
Petty Officer Timothy Mason holds his arms out as his 15-month-old son Owen takes his first steps towards his father on Veterans day, Sunday Nov. 11, 2012.
Family and friends on Sunday greeted the returning crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf in Alameda.
The Bertholf and its crew returned to the ship's home port at Coast Guard Island around 9 a.m. after a 144-day deployment to the Arctic.
"Every time they go it's very difficult and every time they come home its a huge celebration," said Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy. "There's always tears."
According to Conroy, the Bertholf left for Hawaii in late June, then made its way up to the Arctic for the majority of its deployment.