Dozens of veterans, Patriot Guard riders, friends, and family lined the concourse at Cherry Capital Airport Friday morning, awaiting the arrival of a Boyne Falls Airman.
25-year-old Senior Airman, Catherine Wasylewski has served our country in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst for four years. She has been sent over seas twice. Once to Iraq, and most recently has been in Afghanistan since November.
"It's been a while," said Catherine's father, Gary Wasylewski. "I mean she's my baby. It's just going to be nice to have her home."
"Super excited," said Catherine's older brother, Jake Wasylewski. "Its been a long time coming."
In her four years away, SrA Wasylewski has lost family members, and missed milestones like the birth of both of her nephews, Joshua, and Isaac.
"Yah there's a lot that I've missed out on that I'm looking forward to not missing in the future," said SrA Catherine Wasylewski.
As Catherine came down the concourse at the airport, she was greeted by her nephew Joshua, the patriotic site of flags, and the roaring sound of applause.
"The support just means so much to us that you know, coming home, and just knowing that there are a lot of people here that are thinking about us while we're gone and are here to welcome us when we get back, it's really appreciate," said SrA Wasylewski.
Little did Catherine know, there was an even bigger surprise awaiting her.
On her way home, she met up with a motor cage of first responders from Charlevoix County. As they arrived in Boyne Falls, the community was out in full support waving her in with more American flags.
Catherine knew her long return home, was finally over.