East Texas Soldier Home From Fallujah

Surrounded by insurgents while working towards a free Iraq.
U.S. soldiers in Fallujah are in the middle of some of the most intense fighting since the war began. One of those is an East Texan, home from the battleground. Sergeant Albert Andrews said the dangers soldiers face in Fallujah are constantly all around.
"You never know when they're going to hit but they're going to hit you at least 3 or 4 times a day," Sergeant Andrews said. "We've had a lot of close calls."
The fighting in fallujah rages on but at home thousands of miles away, Sergeant Andrews thoughts are not far from the hostile ground he left only a week ago.
"I'm concerned about (the troops) and you want to be home with your family but you feel like you should be there with them," he said.
For 27 years the Sergeant has served in the Army. He said he is now facing an often hidden enemy and he has lost a few men.
"A lot of times they hit us at night," he said. "When we are on convoys and stuff, we get a lot of hostility. We've been getting hit a lot but I'm hoping that once they clear out the insurgents in Fallujah that things will somewhat get better."
The 45-year-old father of four said he is taking refuge in the green of East Texas trees, temporarily replacing the sand and turmoil on the other side of the world.
"I haven't really looked at the news a whole lot," he said.
Sergeant Andrews and his family celebrated an early Thanksgiving and before he leaves next week they will celebrate Christmas. He said he will not bring home souvenirs from Fallujah, because what he has seen is memory enough."
"I think most of all I'm just going to try and forget it....I'm not being negative but I think in order for me to try to move on when I do get back I need to get that in the past."
Sergeant Andrews said while in Iraq he holds daily meetings with his platoon to boost morale. He is scheduled to end his duty in February. He also said he has felt East Texas' support since he's been home, noting the hundreds of car stickers and signs remembering the troops.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com