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Local Airman Returns Home
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05 July 2017  
Tri-City Prep graduate and United States Air Force Airman Emily Walter hides in a box to surprise her dogs upon returning to her home city. Photo and Video by: Torrence Dunham

Local Tri-City Prep Graduate and United States Airman Conducts Special Homecoming

PRESCOTT- Over the past five years, Prescott’s Emily Walter has been serving her country in the Air Force in Afghanistan and South Carolina. Throughout the time, she kept up with her parents Pete and Sharon through social media.

“It was almost like she was right next door but she was in a cubicle in Afghanistan,” Sharon Walter said.

While Emily has seen her parents in person on trips to South Carolina , she hasn’t able to feel the love and joy from her four-legged friends since dropping them off before heading to Afghanistan.

On her first day back in town, Emily wanted to see her dogs for the first time in a special way-by waiting for her dogs to notice her in a box.

“I’ve seen them on video for the last seven months,” said Tri-City Prep graduate Emily Walter. “Now, I get to actually pet them and hug them and he gets to sit in my lap, it’s kind of great.”

Pete has been making houses out of boxes for Emily and their siblings since childhood so after seeing soldier returns utilizing boxes on YouTube, Pete and Sharon had their idea.

“I’ve been making boxes for some of the kids even before they were born,” Pete Walter said. “The box idea is right down my alley.”

“They picked up on her scent right away and Buster stuck his nose in the box right away,” Walter added. “We didn’t really get a chance to see the look on her face, it was more the reaction of the dogs.”

Emily followed in her father’s footsteps and decided to enlist to experience new things. “As much as I love this town, I felt like I needed to do something bigger,” Emily Walter said. “I joined the Air Force, I’ve gotten to go to a couple of different places. I’ve lived in South Carolina for the past four years and I’ve loved it but I always love coming back to Prescott for sure, it’s a good hometown.” Since going into administration after serving as an air traffic controller, Emily has advanced to being a admin for a F-16 Figther Squadron.

“I get to do paper work all day but I love it,” Gregory said. “Working with pilots, it’s a completely different point of view in the Air Force. I’ve grown very fond of that squadron and I’ve created a family out there. Since I don’t have mine, I definitely can depend on the people I work with as a family.”

The next step for Emily is deployment to South Korea where she will be the only person running a operation group with multiple squadrons.

“It’s going to be busy but I’m excited for the experience and to get to travel outside the country,” Emily Walter said. “It’s going be exciting to get to see another part of the world that I personally, had I not joined the Air Force, would have never ever traveled to.”

Meanwhile, Pete and Sharon will continue to watch from afar as her daughter achieves her dreams.

“She probably looks to pick up E-5, which is the equivalent of sergeant in the Marine corp when she goes to Korea, which means that she outranks both me and my son,” Pete Walter said. “Makes me very proud, very honored.”

“She’s heading to South Korea,” Walter said. “Those of you who pray, we need you to be praying.”

Torrence Dunham

Torrence Dunham is a multimedia journalist who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.  Torrence is our PrescottValleyeNews.com Correspondent covering local news and events in Prescott Valley. He is also the lead sports correspondent and play-by-play pro for all our multimedia news sites. If he's not adding to his extensive sports bobble-head collection, he's talking baseball, his favorite. Follow him on Twitter: @Tadunham.