TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's been a long year, but Staff Sergeant Raymond Shannon is finally home.
"Oh, it feels great," said Shannon. "I've been in the military 28 years, and, this is my job."
Soon he will be with his wife and daughter who are waiting for him in San Diego.
"I'll see them when I get off this tour," said Shannon, but on his way to California he made a stop in East Texas to see other family. "I'm here to see my mother and father. We're originally out of the Athens and Palestine area. [I] get to go see them and clean some fence up."
The soldier is serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"He was supposed to be here the 18th and now he's finally getting here and we are tickled to death," said his mother Peggy Shannon. "We're going to have a ball."
"There ought to be more like him," said his father George Shannon. "No more. No less. He's here to serve and I'm just glad to have him home."
When asked if he would miss Afghanistan Staff Sergeant Shannon said he won't miss it, especially the heat.
"I don't live in west Texas, and I don't live in the desert in California either," he said.
"We want them all to know how much we appreciate them...for each of us here at home as well as for our country," explained Anne Delaet.
Shannon is training Afghan soldiers in mechanics and infantry. This is his third major mission with the national guard.