On a day when most are lounging on the coach watching football, cooking, eating and counting their blessings, some North Texas families spent much of the day welcoming troops at DFW International Airport.
Throngs of friends, family, and thankful strangers welcomed troops home with signs, screams, banners, and American flags.
It was quite a greeting as troops arrived back on America soil for the first time in months.
"It's actually great. I didn't think I was going to make so I can't wait to see my family," said Steven Evans, a staff sergeant for the U.S. Army.
But at another part of the airport, troops were getting ready to deploy overseas. For many, it would be their first Thanksgiving away from their families.
"It's heartbreaking. My dad took it really rough, so did my mom. I had to get on the plane first because I couldn't take them crying anymore. It was sad," said Danny McCall, who was deploying for the first time.
He and more than 200 troops deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait received a turkey dinner with all the fixings.
"I'm very thankful. I didn't expect it. It was nice surprise. It was awesome for people to take time out of their holiday to come and volunteer on our behalf," said Roderick Sloan, also on his first deployment.
Though it was a bittersweet day for some families, everyone had something to be thankful for.
"My brother, he's deployed in the same place. We got lucky that we're in the same unit so we support each other when the other is having a bad day, " McCall said.