NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — By the weekend, nearly 6,000 marines and sailors will be home in Hampton Roads with their families, and the first wave of homecomings for the USS Harry S. Truman began Wednesday.
The Rawhides of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 touched down at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field. Families lined up, ready to capture the moment the Rawhides arrived, and they told WAVY.com nine months was a long time to be away from their loved ones.
“We are going to hug, kiss and then have some good family fun together,” saidNavy wife Stephanie Hynes.
Like most homecomings families are ready to surprise loved ones with signs and flowers. Then there’s Bridget Kertiss who was scheming behind her boyfriend Ryan Adams’ back: “We have a lot of family coming in town that he’s not aware of it,” she said. “It should be a good time.”
Two planes landed and sailors walked straight into opens arms. Kertiss had tears in her eyes, even before she learned she wasn’t the one doing the surprising. Adams pulled a ring out of his pocket, got down on one knew and proposed right there on the tarmac. Of course she said, “I do.”
“It’s amazing,” Kertiss said. “I definitely backfired on my surprise, so it’s awesome.”
“I think I caught her off guard,” Adams added. “She didn’t see it coming. It was a success.”
Now back home, sailors will get some quality family time and, of course, rest and relaxation, but that probably won’t happen for the Kertiss household.
“To be honest with you, I guess I need to start planning a wedding,” Kertiss said.
Thursday the “Swordsmen” of Strike fighter Squadron VFA-32, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 and the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105 will arrive at NAS Oceana.
Several other homecomings will also take place the next couple days before the USS Truman pulls into port.