Marine Sergeant Home In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/5/05-Lindale

Marine Sergeant Home In East Texas

A still hanging Christmas stocking finally received some attention, Saturday. That's because Sergeant Robbie Garza is home.

"It's great, it's been a while since I've been (home). It's the best feeling in the world," Garza said.

It's been almost a year since Sergeant Garza sat in his parent's living room.

"My husband spotted him first, and he said I think I see him," said his mother Linda. "And then I said no you don't. Then I said oh yes you do! So I told (my husband) I was going to be the first one to hug him and I was. I didn't want to let him go."

Yellow ribbons, patriotic balloons and waving flags signaled Robbie's homecoming to the same community that has supported him. While in Iraq, Lindale residents have sent Robbie and his unit cards, letters, and care packages.

"It is definitely what makes it go by, what gets you through everything you go through."

Robbie said there is nothing like the feeling of being back in East Texas. The youngest of 3 siblings, Robbie followed in his big brother's footsteps to be a Marine, wanting to prove just how tough he can be.

The cast on his wrist is proof of his courage. An injury sustained in Iraq that he did not want to talk about. Despite the danger, Robbie said Iraq is a country changing for the better.

"They don't see the way the kids look at us, and what we're doing and just the pride and joy that we do for them. It really touches your heart."

That heart warming feeling will be magnified by a few home cooked meals, a family's love and even if it is March, finally the true joy of Christmas Day.

"We had a Christmas over there for ourselves," Robbie said. "We got a little tree over there for ourselves, just try to make the spirits work over there but it's nothing like Christmas at home."

Sergeant Garza will return to Iraq April 2nd. He has 3 more years of service with the Marines. While home in East Texas he will not only be able to celebrate Christmas, but his 26th birthday. Saturday evening, when the family was all reunited, Robbie finally opened his Christmas stocking.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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