A Tyler man returns home today after spending five months in Iraq. Derek Schwartz can now sit down with his family and friends in his nice air-conditioned house, but the last five months have been a different story.
"It's just constant dust all over the place," said Derek Chambers, U.S. Marine. "When it's not dusty the heat is going to get you. It's 135 degrees in the trucks and they don't have any AC whatsoever." Derek, however, doesn't like to complain.
"It's something I've wanted to do all my life," said Derek. "That's why I'm in the military." Derek joined the military four years ago. When he found out five months ago he would be going to Iraq, he said he was ready.
"It's something that you accept you know, you can't run away from it," said Derek. "It's something that you do. That's what you train four years for." Derek's parents say they are very proud of their son. They say at times it was hard to watch the news because when they saw a bomb had gone off they immediately thought of Derek.
"We knew where Derek was and if it wasn't anywhere where he was than we knew he was ok," said Donald Schwartz, Derek's father. Now that Derek is home safe he has a message for all of us.
"Just keep supporting us no matter what's going on, no matter what the situation is we need all the support we can get," said Derek.
The message for Derek at the party was clear, welcome back from Iraq.