Airmen Reunite with Families after 3 Months

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam is located on the north end of Guam, approximately 15 miles from the capital, Agana (Source: militaryinstallations.dod.mil)
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam is located on the north end of Guam, approximately 15 miles from the capital, Agana (Source: militaryinstallations.dod.mil)

As soon as Staff Sgt. Adam Hill and his girlfriend broke their embrace, he fell to one knee on the tarmac and handed her a ring.

"I've had to wait three months," he then said. "Lindsay Miller, will you marry me?"

"Yes," she said as they resumed their embrace.

Sergeant Hill, 26, of Vandalia, Ohio, was one of about 200 airmen from the Ohio Air National Guard's 180th Fighter Wing who reunited with their families Wednesday after a three-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

"I did not know it was going to happen today," Ms. Miller, 25, of Columbus, said of the marriage proposal, with tears in her eyes. "I'm just, like, in shock. I don't think I have any words right now."

Minutes before, she ran up to meet Sergeant Hill on the tarmac, holding a sign that read, "I've waited 99 days for this moment. Pucker up, Sgt. Hill!"

A few minutes later and a few yards away, another couple locked in an embrace as they held up two toddlers.

"I am just happy to be back home, to see them. It's been a while," Tech. Sgt. Dennis McCoy, 27, of Toledo said of his wife Ashley McCoy, and their daughter Taylor, 3, and son Tyler, 2.

Taylor shared his feelings.

"I'm happy daddy's back," Taylor said. "I'm here to pick our daddy up and bring him back home."

Ms. McCoy, also 27, a self-described stay-at-home mom, said it was hard to take care of the children on her own for three months.

"I was telling myself, 'Just a couple more days, just a couple more days,'" Ms. McCoy said. "I am so excited. Glad he made it home safe."

Elizabeth Behnfeldt, 36, of Defiance, agreed that three months was a long wait. She was meeting her husband, Staff Sgt. Joe Behnfeldt, also 36, with their twin 6-year-old daughters Brooklyn and Macy by her side.

"It's been very hard," Ms. Behnfeldt said. "They've missed him terribly. They've been waiting, waiting, and waiting. We've been counting days now."

Base officials said in a written statement that the airmen's deployment in Guam "promoted stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and helped ensure national interests abroad." While there, the airmen participated in Cope North 2016, an annual joint exercise in multilateral air operations between the Air Force, Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Royal Australian Air Force.

"Guam was too hot for me and I missed this lady," Sergeant Hill said of Ms. Miller. "I'm gonna get her to Chipotle, and then I'm just gonna be with my fiancé. Best day. Can't beat it."

He said the marriage ceremony is tentatively planned for New Year's Eve.

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