Afghanistan Army veteran gets special homecoming

Posted by Dana Hughey bio | email

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

Gregg County, TX (KLTV) - A veteran of both American campaigns in the Middle East, returns home to a heroes welcome Sunday in Gregg county.  Family and friends waited patiently for Army Specialist Arnold Gonzalez's plane to come in at the East Texas regional airport.

"Feels really good it's awesome. I'm really excited," says Gonzalez's wife Courtney.

They had been through this before. It was December of 2007 that family, the Patriot Guard and Welcome Home Soldier members waited in a freezing rain to welcome Gonzalez back from Iraq. This time around they gave him and even bigger welcome.

"This is my time to say thank you. This is our time to say thank you to everybody that deserves a welcome home," says the soldier's father, Arnold Gonzalez senior.

With the U.S. focus now on Afghanistan, the soldier says the goal remains winning, and getting everyone home.

"We're still fighting this war and planning on putting more people over there to help out and get this war over with," says the soldier.

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For Gonzalez, its something he hopes everyone serving their country gets to experience.

"It feels really good more people should do it for the soldiers back at home I know soldiers feel left alone feel like we don't get enough recognition around for what we do and put ourselves through" Gonzalez says.

For the family, its a chance to show that all servicemen are appreciated.

"They deserve all of this , should have done this in the past for everybody coming home" Courtney says.

Gonzalez is home on 15 days leave, before returning to duty in Afghanistan.  Bob Hallmark reporting/