MOORE — Pfc. Kyle Travis-Levings, a 2011 Moore High School graduate, returned last week from a deployment to Afghanistan and his grandmother, Pamela Fahey of Oklahoma City, flew to Fort Campbell, Ky., to welcome him home.
“I don't know if I've adjusted yet,” Travis-Levings said about being back in the United States. “It feels like a dream, it is so surreal.”
Travis-Levings, 20, comes from a military family and has always had a knack for taking things apart and putting them back together, so in the Army he became a helicopter mechanic, Fahey said.
“He knew he wanted to go before graduating, but knew he had to wait to graduate,” said his mother, Amy Cruz.
According to The Associated Press, more than 100 soldiers from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division returned six months into their deployment due to the changing mission in Afghanistan to turn over control to Afghan security forces.
Travis-Levings was in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, at the U.S. base when it was attacked Dec. 2. Nine suicide attackers were involved in the assault and killed, but no Americans died, Fahey said.
Cruz planned to attend the homecoming at the post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, but is eight months pregnant, so Fahey decided to go in her place.
“I was trying my darnedest to get the computer to Skype to get it to her live, but the best we could do was the phone,” Fahey said.
“I believe it is 17,000 hours that their birds have been flying with no accidents, so he has a very important job in keeping those birds in the sky,” Fahey said. “We're just so proud of everything he's accomplished.”
Travis-Levings is unsure how long he will be stationed in Kentucky, so he has plans for the meantime.
There is an aviation college near Fort Campbell he plans to attend to get his airframe and power plant license to work on helicopters outside the Army as well.
“I want to try and make it a career,” he said.
“He'll be back home to Oklahoma in August, he's coming home for a month,” Cruz said. “He's worried about coming home to see the baby, his brother, but I told him to just wait to come in August so he can stay a long time.”