MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Military service runs in the family for three Moreno Valley sisters, who were reunited Thursday upon the return of one sister from deployment in Afghanistan.
Crystal Cuyan returned home after five months of deployment, along with other members of the California Air National Guard 146th Airlift Wing based in Port Hueneme. She was greeted at the airport by her parents and sisters, who are also serving in the California National Guard.
“My heart was pounding,” said the 24-year-old senior airman. “I tried not to cry.”
“It’s really amazing,” said her older sister, Arelis Cuyan Villanueva. “And really glad that we are all together.”
Cuyan comes from a family of proud military service.
Her older sister Arelis is a lieutenant in the California National Guard. Her younger sister, Viana Cuyan, is also a senior airman. All three sisters are serving in Port Hueneme.
“Even at the base, everyone’s like ‘are you…you guys are sisters?'” said Viana Cuyan.
While in Afghanistan, Crystal worked at a hospital ordering medical supplies and helping coordinate patient transports. When her parents worried about her, Crystal said it helped to have Arelis, who also deployed to Afghanistan this year, to reassure them.
“Sometimes when she couldn’t get a hold of them or they couldn’t get a hold of her it was a little bit more understanding because they had me to tell them she’s going to be okay,” Arelis said.
The sisters’ proud mother, Patty Cuyan, says her daughters are living out her dream of military service.
“We just let God do his job. And I know he’s going to protect them everywhere they go,” she said.
Viana Cuyon could be slated for deployment to Afghanistan sometime next year.
For now, Crystal said, “I can’t wait for a girls night.”