Back from Iraq, just in time to ring in the New Year - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Back from Iraq, just in time to ring in the New Year

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -  It was a pleasant surprise. New Year's morning, family and friends welcomed U.S. Army Sergeant Jacob Mathis back home to Tyler.

Mathis is on leave from his second tour of duty in Iraq.  He said he's looking forward to the next 15 days of rest, but greatly appreciates the support he's been shown throughout his five years in military service.

"We come home, and see people at airports shaking our hands--whenever stuff like this happens, it makes it worthwhile," he said.

Dozens of members of the Welcome Home Soldiers group waited outside the Cracker Barrel at I-20 and U.S. 69 to greet Sgt. Mathis.

Mathis returns to Iraq after his leave.  He said he's looking forward to starting college once his career in the military is over.

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