Apr 15, 2010 7:19 PM by Bethany Tucker
A local airman returning from a tour in Iraq receives a surprise welcome home.
Senior Airman Sandra Valois arrived at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport at 1:45p.m. Thursday. Members of several local American Legion Posts from Cambria down to Orcutt gave her the big homecoming, complete with signs, hugs and a motorcycle motorcade to top it all off. "Everybody was looking out the window, and somebody looked over at me and said, 'Is that for you?' and I was like, 'I think it must be!'" said SrA Valois.
"I didn't expect this homecoming," she goes on to say. "but, you know, coming from the town of Cambria, them being so supportive of the troops and everything; I should've expected it."
The Cambria native has been a part of the U.S. Air Force for nearly four years. For the last seven months, she has been serving as an Arabic interpreter in Baghdad. It was her first deployment. She says she was in training for two years, and a week after she was finished she was deployed.
She says right now, it's about enjoying home.
"On the flight over here, I just couldn't stop staring out the window," SrA. Valois said. "The colors, just the beauty of this place. Just the feeling of it. It's the first time I've really felt home for a really long time. It's a phenomenal feeling, it's a little overwhelming."
SrA Valois says out of everything, she missed her dad the most. And because she loves her dad's motorcycle, too, she hopped on with him to ride as the number one bike in the motorcade all the way home.
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