LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It was a big welcome home for two war weary marines, back from extended tours in Iraq. To the cheers of a hometown crowd, Marine Lance Corporal Emmanuel Terrell and Marine Lance Corporal Thomas Barr stepped into East Texas Regional Airport.
"Well, I wasn't expecting half the town to be here," said Terrell. "I thought it was going to be some of my family, and that was it."
"It just blows my mind, it's so awesome, come home to everybody smiling faces," said Barr. With friends, family and members of Welcome Home Soldiers on hand, the pair were given a heroes reception.
"Texas is a lot more patriotic, so its kind of nice," said Terrell.
"People want to shake your hand and give you hugs and show you how much they care," said Barr. Both are home after serving seven months in Iraq in the same scout units, and say it is almost forgotten how good work is still going on there.
"We've made a lot of progress considering how many years we've been over there, everything's going smoothly over there now," said Barr. The young men represent the best in all of us, and the welcome was appreciated.
"I didn't know what to think when I got in here," said Barr. "It just blew my mind people, so excited that we're back. It's really awesome." Both marines are home on three weeks leave, before going on to training at their next duty station in California.