COLONIE, N.Y. -- Danielle Martinez says she was expecting a few people to be waiting for her at the airport, but never expected the big homecoming she received, after an eight month deployment in the middle east and then Asia.
A 2008 Colonie high school graduate, Martinez calls the Capital Region home, with dozens of family members and friends waiting with open arms to welcome her back.
"I'm so happy right now, I can't even put it into words how loved I feel right now," she says.
Martinez joined the Navy when she was 21 and has been a sailor for a year and five months, stationed in San Diego.
Martinez's mother Joyce and father Chris, who was also in the Navy, say they are so proud of their daughter.
"I just can't put into words how proud and happy I am just to have her home safe," says Chris Martinez.
"We don't know when we'll see her again, so we're going to treasure these last few days with her and we're going to just pamper her and spoil her," adds Joyce Martinez.
Danielle Martinez says while on her deployment, she traveled to 15 different countries.
"I give a lot of people credit," she says. "I didn't realize how hard it is to be in the service until actually being on a deployment and seeing what the military really does."
During her welcome home with American flags waving, Martinez's smile never left her face, calling the reunion an emotional one.
"It really took my breath away, it really did," says Martinez. "It was one of those moments everyone talks about and this was it."
Martinez will only be home until June 12th.