East Texas Sailor Returns Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texas Sailor Returns Home

After 9/11, at the age of 37, an East Texas man decided to do is part and joined the Navy, but because of his age, he had to join the reserves. It wasn't long before he became active and after six months in Iraq, Petty Officer Gregory Winters got to come home.

Officer Winters had tears in his eyes as he walked off his plane this morning.

"You know they are going to be there, but to see them stand out at mass when I came in, that made me feel good," said Officer Winters. It's been nine months since Officer Winters has seen his wife Misty, 7-year-old daughter Hannah and 4-year-old son Tyler.

"Communication was pretty rough there for about three months," said Officer Winters. "You don't know when you're going to get to call." Officer Winters joined the Navy three years ago. While in Iraq, he worked 12 hours a day, six days a week building camps for the Iraqi Security Force.

"What we did was set up camps where they actually watch their border and if people come across, they are there in a strategic place to go and stop it," said Officer Winters. Officer Winters says he's happy to be home, where everything seems normal again.

"It was like at the end of the earth," said Officer Winters. "It really felt that way. I'm ready to go to Stanley's BBQ and eat me a brother-in-law sandwich. I've been thinking about that for nine months."

Officer Winters wasn't alone in Iraq. He had a friend, which he says went everywhere with him. "My kids sent me a bear. They wouldn't tell me what it was all they said was to squeeze it," said Officer Winters. His children recorded a 'I love you' message in the bear. Now that he's home, Officer Winter's wife has this advice.

"If you stay strong in your faith there's nothing to worry about," said Misty Winters, Officer Winters' wife. " mean that's what we did. We knew God would bring him home." Officer Winters says he has two years off from active duty plans to stay in Tyler with his family. From there, he will go where the navy needs him.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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