CHANTILLY, Va. (DC News Now) — The Virginia Task Force 1 team returned from their mission in Florida on Monday afternoon after more than two weeks of helping the hurricane-damaged state.

The team of firefighters and paramedics from Fairfax County, plus civilians including physicians and engineers, helped recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian.

With the search for victims in Southwest Florida finished, officials say the focus is long-term recovery after more than 100 deaths were reported — the third-deadliest storm to hit the U.S. mainland since 2000.

Families of Virginia Task Force 1 members welcomed back their loved ones at a heart-warming homecoming in Chantilly.

Members of the team say the last two weeks have been lots of work that have taken physical strength as well as mental and emotional strength.

The homecoming put a spotlight on moments of pure joy, as spouses welcomed their partners back and children welcomed their parents. But the sweet moments were a stark contrast to the difficult 15 days for the people who made the trip from Fairfax County to Hurricane-struck Florida.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Capt. Jennifer Hiner. “I’ve been deployed several times with the task force and it was the worst I’ve ever seen domestically.”

Photos posted on the Virginia Task Force 1 social media accounts throughout the recovery efforts show challenges and damage.

“We were doing assessments on homes, assisting the residents if they need help getting to the hospital, getting to a shelter,” Hiner said.

Then there were search-and-rescue missions, as team members looked for survivors.

“We’re searching for anything,” said Capt. Rob Clement. “Especially survivors. [We met] with a lot of residents, making sure and coordinating with them that their neighbors had evacuated too.”

Clement shared a story of a woman who moved to Florida last year and lost everything, and as he detailed her experiences in front of his two young children, he spoke about the new perspective the trip gave him.

“Being back, you hold them a little bit tighter and you appreciate them a little bit more,” he said.

Maggie, his eight-year-old daughter, said: “it was sad when he had to go, but it was happy when he came back and saved so many lives.”