Familiar Routine, New Beginnings for Returning Hickam Airmen

Nancy Leverich
Nancy Leverich

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE (KHNL) - Forty-three airmen came home to Hawaii Wednesday. They returned from various assignments all over the world. Some resume the lives they had, others embark on new beginnings.

"My knees are shaking," said Kaylee Wallace, an 11-year-old daughter of an Air Force officer.

She has waited a long time for this moment. Her dad's been gone almost five months, or as Kaylee would tell you, 135 days. She found out on Mother's Day he's coming home.

"I just could not sleep every single night," said Kaylee. "Last night, I was like, 'I cannot go to sleep.'"

Her dad is Air Force Major Chuck Wallace. He and 42 other airmen arrive back in Hawaii Wednesday.

Kaylee sees her dad and runs to him. They greet each other with a long hug.

A different sort of homecoming greets Sergeant Nancy Leverich. Her long-time boyfriend Master Sergeant Guy Geroux proposes.

"I've waited seven years," she said. "I'd definitely say yes."

During their time apart, Geroux was diagnosed with colon cancer.

"I was so worried I wasn't ever going to see him again," said Leverich. "He's my best friend, my strength."

But the distance also brought them closer.

"I know that I want to be with her forever, and ... I don't know," Geroux trailed off, as he fought back tears.

"After being in the desert and coming home, it's just good to be home," said Leverich.

Major Wallace is also happy to be back.

"It feels great to be home," said Wallace. "Ready to get back on, settle back in, and get back to a normal routine."

While the Wallaces get back to their routine, Leverich and Geroux start a new chapter.

"Obviously he's doing a lot better," said Leverich. "We're going to get married and have a great life."