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Deployed Robins airman comes home | News

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Deployed Robins airman comes home
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Just in time to celebrate our nation's servicemen and women this Veteran's Day, a Robins airman on a year-long deployment in Afghanistan is now back on U.S. soil.

And his stepkids who attend Lake Joy Primary School got a shocking surprise during their art class on Monday morning, as Colonel Kevin Webb walked through the doors.

"I missed y'all," he told Carly and Carson Storie, 6-year-old twins, in an embrace.

Webb, a pilot in the Air Force, served as director of the liaison office at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

That's where he worked as a direct contact to four-star General John F. Campbell of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), sitting in on daily briefings and traveling throughout the country with ambassadors at the Embassy.

"It's the best feeling in the world to know you're headed in the right direction, coming home. When you land on U.S. soil, it just feels different," he said.

Webb has served in the Air Force for nearly three decades, flying a variety of aircraft from C-5s to C-40s to KC-135s and more.

In Kabul, he says the threat of danger lingered.

"I always had my head on a swivel anytime we drove around," he said. "We have street crime here at home. We don't have magnetic [Improvised Explosive Devices] and vehicle-borne IEDs that are blowing up convoys."

That was his reality for a year, until Sunday.

"Driving into the neighborhood, I was just overwhelmed with the visible show of support," he said.

The Webbs are new to Vinings Place in Warner Robins.

But that didn't stop neighbors from rallying around him.

They've decorated the Webb home with balloons and banners and dotted the cul-de-sac with American flags.

"We brought out some signs," Elias Rodriguez, who lives a few houses down, said. "My [8-year-old] daughter had put together a sign for him. You know, 'Welcome to the neighborhood.' He's new, he's never been here before."

And there's no one happier to have Webb back than his wife, Crystal.

"Just the things that people take for granted. I'm excited to cook dinner and sit on the couch and watch a movie, or go out to dinner with the kids," she said.

After all, they're newlyweds who married in June during Webb's two-week "rest and recuperation" period.

The military allows those serving in year-long deployments in certain areas to take up to 15 days to visit family back home.

"We had a marriage proposal, engagement, quickly wed, and then a honeymoon and found a house all within two weeks that I had, so I stayed busy," Webb laughed.

But service and staying in the uniform, no matter where it takes him, that's all part of Webb's calling.

"It's an honor to be able to do it, it's a privilege to be able to do it and I will continue to do it, as long as I feel I'm a productive member of the Air Force," he said.

He's still on active duty and will continue work at the Air Force Reserve Command at Robins.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh or on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.


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