Army couple gets warm welcome at CVG

HEBRON, KY (FOX19) - An Army major and his wife, an Army captain, have been deployed to such places as Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea. But now they're back home in northern Kentucky to stay.

The couple got a surprise welcome at CVG Sunday.

Rick and Monica Paden expected someone to pick them up from the airport, but they were pleasantly surprised to find what awaited them when they arrived at CVG.

Rick's father, Richard Paden, says he organized the welcome.

"We've been trying to get everything together to get ready for them, to surprise them so that they don't even know this is happening," said Paden.

The senior Paden says it was just a way to say thanks for their service. "Show our appreciation for them serving our country and sacrifices that they've made to serve our county."

Pat Peyton, Rick's mother, says the days of fretting over her son's safety are over.

"I'm so happy. This is the happiest I've been in ten years. I've been waiting for him to get out of the service," explained Pat. "I've had to worry about him being in Iraq and Afghanistan and Korea and I feel like I can take a deep breath."

Rick hasn't been home for an extended time in ten years.  In 2011, he and Monica got married while they were stationed in Korea. Rick's brother in law, Dirk Glahn says the homecoming is long overdue.

"The fact that he's going to be coming home and settling down here and getting to enjoy life with us is going to be nice, it's going to be a welcome change," said Dlahn.

The couple arrived to a warm welcome and Rick says it's great to be back home.

"It's good. It's been a long time since we've got back to the United States so we're happy to be back.

Monica Paden says she's happy to be back home as well.

"Five," said Monica, "Five years since we've been back to the United States to live so we're real excited about it."

Rick and Monica are getting out of the army and they're building a house in Independence where they plan to live with Monica's 14 year-old daughter.

They're looking forward to lots of family gatherings and the day to day routine of being civilians.

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