When he saw his daughter in April, Michael Ruiz never imagined it would be the last time he would ever see her.
Kcey Ruiz, 21, was supposed to return home later this month after an Air Force deployment to Afghanistan, her father told Channel 2 Action News. But on Friday, the McDonough woman was killed when the plane she was in crashed just after takeoff, the Department of Defense said.
“It’s unbelievable, she was supposed to come home at the end of this month,” Michael Ruiz said.
Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz was stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts and left for Afghanistan in April, her father said. Michael Ruiz visited his daughter in Boston and planned to see her in six months.
“I didn’t say goodbye, I didn’t want to say goodbye,” Michael Ruiz said. “I just told her I would see her later and I never got that chance.”
Shortly after her 2012 graduation from Dutchtown High School, Kcey Ruiz enlisted in the Air Force, her father said.
“She’s just the type of person who always did the right thing,” Kcey’s father Michael Ruiz said. “She had a high level of integrity, and she was just good to people.”
On Friday, Kcey Ruiz was one six airmen killed when a C-130J Super Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.
Also killed were Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, , Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, and Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21. All four were assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, also based at Hanscom, also died.
The crash, which remains under investigation, also killed five civilian contractors and two Afghanistan civilians.