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NORFOLK-The crew of Norfolk-based USS Gravely is home for the holidays.

The Aegis guided-missile destroyer returned home Monday from her first deployment. The crew was gone nine months.

Gravely took part in exercises other U.S. ships and our allies, including operations with the Hellenic Navy, the Israeli Navy, France, Great Britain and Egypt.

'It was presence with a purpose,' said Graveley Commanding Officer, CDR Kevin Kennedy. 'Gravely provided flexible deterrent options and was really ready for any contingencies.'

Family members were just happy to have their sailors home after nine long months.

'I was scared, i cried a lot,' said Heather Irving, wife of a Gravely sailor. 'I watched the news, I was all CNN all the time. But I'm excited they're here now.'

Gravely was one of four Norfolk-based ships in the Mediterranean Sea in August that was on standby to strike against Syria during a chemical weapons investigation. Gravely and the other destroyers can launch ballistic missiles.

'We impacted the crisis that took place,' said Gravely sailor, Master at Arms First Class Pedro Rocha. 'So we were very grateful we were given the opportunity to be out there and support the mission.'

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