This week has been a happy reunion for one Texoma family. For months, Newschannel 6 has been getting an idea of what life is like for a family while daddy's deployed. But as of last Sunday, the Hipp family is together, safe, and at home.
Since October, Sheila Hipp and her daughter, Kayden, have been waiting eagerly for their husband and father, Corey, to return from his seventh deployment with the U.S. Air Force. While her daughter learned to crawl, Sheila dealt with torn ligaments from a horse accident. All the while, she would communicate with Corey via email, phone calls, and Skype.
But there's no need for long-distance communication now. Corey came back to the Falls last Sunday. Sheila had plans to pick up her step-daughter in West Texas, but got the good news earlier than expected.
"My credit card didn't work, my cell phone didn't work. I couldn't get nothing to work, so I just got to Dallas Ft. Worth and I called her and said, 'Hey, I'm here in Dallas Fort Worth. I'll be home in an hour," Corey said.
"I'm on my way to Abilene right now to pick up Kennedy. He goes, 'No, turn around. Come and get me!'" Sheila said.
Fortunately, Corey had friends at the airport. He actually beat his wife home. He and Sheila were reunited on their own driveway.
"She comes running up. Since she had already hurt her ankle before, she tried to hurt her ankle again," he said.
"Yeah, I jumped on him," Sheila said.
"She attacked me!" Corey said.
Although he's no stranger to serving overseas, Corey says his first deployment while married was different.
"More reason to come home. When you're single it's like, 'I miss steak and green grass,' and that kind of stuff. Now it's like I don't even care about that. You just miss your kid and your wife," he said.
Today the Hipps are hitting the road so Corey can see his other daughter, and both husband and wife will be soaking in every moment.
"Just the little things. Going to the grocery store, sittin' down and watching a movie or something like that," Sheila said.
In a few weeks, the Hipps will be taking a much-needed vacation to Las Vegas. They plan on spending several days rock climbing, now that Sheila's ankle is healed.