An East Texas soldier from the 101st Airborne Division is back home on leave, reuniting with family and friends in Hughes Springs. For 28 year old Phillip Rorex, this homecoming with his family in Hughes Springs is bittersweet.
The specialist in the 101st Airborne Division has 15 days before he has to go back to Iraq.
"Kind of a relief at the same time a lot of tension a little bit overwhelming at times just trying to deal with everybody and answer all questions that everybody wants to know" says Rorex.
He's been in the conflict for nine months, his unit has come under constant guerilla attacks... But he remains steadfast about his job. "You lose brothers over there everyday, but my obligation is to them and the Iraqi people... We need to finish what we started we need to rebuild the country," the 3 year soldier said.
His father is the minister of the local Baptist church and though he's proud of his son, he feels many of our soldiers have done enough. "I think he's been over there long enough, I believe the 101st Airborne's been over there long enough and its time to bring them home, they ought to replace them , instead of him going back I think he ought to be home for good right now" said his father Mickey Rorex.
In such a short time, the Rorex family is celebrating his birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled into one... And though he's glad for the rest, he's upset that not enough is being told about the troops positive impact on the Iraqi people. Having to go back a week before Thanksgiving, he just wants to enjoy a time where he doesn't have to think about fighting. He is scheduled to be discharged in May of 2005, when he intends to go back to college.