The Hadley family looked forward to Monday night for a year now. A year ago, Army Specialist Nickolis Hadley deployed to Kuwait.
"I usually have a picture of him on me. It's a football picture," said Desirae Hadley, Nickolis' daughter. "He's holding up a 1, and he is no. 1."
It's been way too long since 10-year old Desirae Hadley's seen her no. 1 hero, her dad.
"I wanted him to scratch my back. I wanted to cuddle with him. I wanted to pull his hair, because I've always done that. I just really missed him," said Desirae Monday night, just about four hours before she expected her father to land at MBS Airport.
She said it's the things many families might take for granted that she misses most. Her father's tour has wrapped up, and he's on the way home. Monday, Desirae and her brother Nathaniel tried to stay busy playing video games while their mother Tera kept a close eye on the clock.
"Just to hold him, you know, it's been so long. So just to give him a hug, that's my first priority," said Tera.
And the anticipation has them ready to burst.
"Happy, excited, there's really no words. I'm just overly excited," said Tera.
"I'm going to run up and hug him, kiss him on the cheek," said Desirae.
Because like in his picture, he's their no. 1 hero and the no. 1 husband and dad.
"I'm not bouncing on the outside, but I'm bouncing on the inside right now. I have butterflies in my stomach," said Desirae.
But because Nickolis missed his flight in Baltimore Monday evening, his family is going to have to wait one more day. He is expected to land at MBS Tuesday morning.
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