LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - After a long tour overseas, an East Texas Navy man returns for a well earned stay at home. For the second time in two years, patriot guard members and the group Welcome Home Soldiers, gave a warm homecoming to Navy Petty Officer Damian Feliciano. Feliciano went from the turmoil of Guantanamo Bay to 18 months in the high security area of Bahrain, and will now be stationed stateside.
"Work wise it was pretty tough, you had to stand at a lot of fixed posts in a high desert climate," says Feliciano, "I get to bring my family with me to my next duty station and I'm looking forward to that and actually getting to see my little ones grow up."
A Navy Master at Arms, or security officer, his main concern over the past 18 months was seeing his wife and 3 children.
"It's always in the back of my mind," the petty officer says,"I'm always thinking about what am I missing today what am I missing tomorrow."
"All kids have a bond with their daddy and you don't notice it as much until the daddy's not there. You can see how much those children really love and adore their daddy and he is their hero" says Tina, Damian's wife of 9 years.
Some have questioned whether these welcomes should be done, but those involved say it's the least we can do.
"They're serving our country and if they're not overseas they're supporting those who are overseas and they're keeping us safe here" says welcome organizer Ann de Lat.
Feliciano's next duty station will be in Maryland. The patriot guard ended the day by giving the Feliciano's an escort all the way to their Diana home.