TYLER, TX (KLTV) - East Texas welcomed home another soldier Thursday night, U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class William Boudreaux.
His late arrival didn't stop supporters from lining up at Tyler Pounds Airport to make sure he felt appreciated for his service.
Friends and family surprised Boudreaux as he returned home after serving a year in Afghanistan.
"With the time and being in the middle of the week, coming home and everyone being out here, I really appreciate it. I wasn't expecting anything like this so it's definitely a nice surprise," Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux served in the U.S. Navy for twelve years, most recently as an intelligence specialist, first class.
He comes home just as President Obama announced plans to bring thousands of soldiers home from Afghanistan. He says it's great news, but his fellow soldiers still want to do their jobs.
"Everyone wants to go home, but we want to make sure that the people are taken care of and that the mission is actually completed so we can leave in a good way," he said.
The thing he missed the most besides the people in Texas? The food.
"Bodacious and Pappasitos for sure. I definitely missed some BBQ and Mexican food," Boudreaux said.
And he said all the support East Texans show really make a difference to the troops.
"We appreciate everything from everybody, their kind words, especially the packages from everybody".
"Out there they don't have anything. No stores, anything like that so those things are appreciated to those guys...especially because they're rare whenever they get mail and things like that. East Texas, good people, can't say enough about 'em," he said.
Boudreaux is home for good. He lives in White Oak with his wife and two children, ages 11 and 7.