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NEW RIVER AIR STATION, NC (AP) — Families of deployed Marines are busy painting their hearts out to make welcome signs as their fighters come back from Afghanistan and Iraq.

It’s a tradition at Marine bases across the country. Spouses and children gather for banner-making parties to paint welcome-home messages that will go up along nearby highways.

About 30 families participated in a sign party recently at New River Air Station near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

One of the wives there was Selina Milton, whose husband was returning after seven months away from home on his first deployment.

Milton said it was important to her that her husband sees his name “every which way he turns” so he knows how much he’s been missed.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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