(KHNL) A Nanakuli man makes it home safely after a year long deployment in the war, and found while a lot of things change in a year- some things always stay the same.
At the Honolulu International Airport, there were yellow ribbons, carefully crafted signs, and balloons- which Maggie Wood hurriedly erects before her son, Marine Corporal Bobby Wood, comes off the plane.
Wood takes a break to describe her butterflies: "The shaking, and anticipating him being home after a whole year."
The signs took 20 minutes to make, but a year to plan. Mom's got everything under control, except an early arrival! Before she's even finished putting up the decorations, Bobby walks over. "Hey we got here half hour early!" he laughs, to his surprised mother, who cries, "God, come here! Oh my god! Oh you're looking beautiful, look at you."
No detail escapes her, as she points out his new tattoo.
On the agenda: some humiliation. Tahitian dancers stage a show then pull Bobby in to dance. He protests, "I can't dance. I'm telling you I can't dance!" but obliges with a sheepish smile. Last week, he was shooting guns. Today, he's shaking hips.
When the action's done, Wood grins, ""I was really surprised that my mom went through that trouble to bring all of you here. And I've never really danced with fine looking girls like that ever in my life."
But wait, there's more. A military lei ceremony. As his friends perform a drill, his mother whispers to him, "I love you. You're going to kill me aren't you?"
Wood nods and adds, "I was really anxious to come home, but nervous at the same time- just worried about changes."
Some things never change, like big brothers. Wood's big brother sidles over and teases, "You got so many leis you look like a damned tree."
Sure it's embarrassing. But it just means they love you. Maggie Woods says of her son, "I'm proud that he's a Marine and that he could serve his country." Then she turns to him with a big hug and says, "Welcome back, baby."