Hometown hero Kim Munley is home tonight.
In a surprise visit, she is in Carolina Beach for the first time in four years. Munley is credited with helping take down the fort hood gunman. The small town girl, turned national hero, took time out to thank the people of the community for their support.
In her father's Carolina Beach tackle store, Sargeant Kim Munley signed autographs.
"I got her autograph for my daughter," Munley's sixth grade teacher, Robert Harwood said. "I already got her autograph. I've already had her autograph 28 or 29 years ago when she gave me all the papers I got to grade."
After four years, it's not how she imagined her first trip home.
"I don't ever think I'll see that auctioned off but it's different," Munley said. "I don't know if I'll ever get used to it."
The past four months have been a whirlwind. November 5th, Munley was shot at least twice while helping to stop Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood gunman. She's had four surgeries, been a guest on Oprah and attended the State of the Union seated at the right hand of the first lady. She's also got her own billboard.
"It's shocking, especially when I come over the bridge and see the sign," Munley said.
Munley says she's overwhelmed by the community support.
"Even when it happened, that's what helped pull me through. That's what helped pull my family through," Munley said.
"It's brought us all closer together," Munley's father, Dennis Barbour said, "Not just a little bit but a lot closer together."
So close in fact that Sargeant Munley is considering returning to her roots.
"Something's making me gravitate back here because I'm already looking at property," Munley said.
If you ask the petite police officer if she thinks she's a hero:
"It's what we're trained to do and it wouldn't be any less for another officer," Munley said, "For some reason, there was a higher power that i was there that day at that time."
Munley will leave town next week to return next month to be the Grand Marshall at the Azalea Festival parade.
Physically, Munley may need one more surgery on her knee. She is thinking about writing a book about her experience.