HALLSVILLE, TX (KLTV) - A U.S. Army National Guard solider is back home on East Texas soil tonight.
30 year old Army Corporal "Kelly Derr",of Hallsville arrived home Sunday, after serving on a nine month tour in Iraq.
East Texas news was there, as Corporal Derr got quite an ecstatic greeting, from "Welcome Home Soldiers".
It was lots of cheering and, "Hip, Hip, Hooray". "Welcome Home Soldiers" members lined the Derr family drive way, to show their gratitude to the East Texas solider.
"It's an honor that they did this for me. Not a whole lot of people really recognize us that much. It feels good to have somebody actually come out and spend their time welcoming us home,"said Cpl. Derr.
East Texas patriots aren't the only ones glad to see Cpl. Derr home. For his family, just getting to hug him-- is a blessing.
"We prayed for him and kept him in our prayers, and I'm just thankful that God watched over him," said Cpl Derr's father, Glen David Derr.
"It makes me very proud. I was in Vietnam and we didn't get a lot of recognition when we came back. So, I'm just thankful for the recognition he's getting for his service."
Corporal Derr has served in the U.S. Army National Guard for twelve years. And in that time, he's learned a lot.
"When you're over there, you don't have the little things. Sometimes you take for granted the little things you don't have when you're home. When you're over there, you see what you missed. We soldiers just try to do our job and cover each other's back, and make sure we come home safe," said Cpl. Derr.
He is home: safe, sound, and adored by all of his nieces and nephews.
In Iraq Cpl. Derr served as a truck commander and was responsible for the personal security of two presidents, generals, and several celebrities who came to visit.