A big welcome home for an East Texas soldier, back after a seven-month tour in Iraq. Longview native Army Private Joseph Mctyre has gone through a lot in his first year in the army. With a nervous mom and relatives waiting, the arrival of an East Texas soldier home from Iraq was all the Mctyre family could think about.
"I can't express my feelings right now I'm so happy to see my baby. He left here my baby and he's come back a man," said Joseph's Mother, Barbara Runyon.
"I want him to know that there are people who appreciate what he's doing for this country don't listen to the nay-sayers, we're proud of him," says brother-in-law Mark Bradbury.
McTyler, 21, went to Iraq straight out of boot camp. He's been on a tour of duty in Mosul for seven months, where he received a shrapnel wound to the head during combat. Finally the moment they had waited for, Joseph was home.
"I'm proud of what he's done and I stand behind him because he believes in what he's doing over there," said Barbara.
He had lost friends in the fighting. He had made a video chronicle of his tour in Iraq, to show his family he was always thinking of them.
"You get descriptions of what it's like over there , IEDs bombs going off, and how they hate us and all that , but what we're doing is trying to change the hearts and minds over there and you can only do that one heart at a time," said Joseph.
Mctyre says his unit's moral remains high because of support from home.
"You come home or back to the barracks and the first thing you want to do is call home because without the support of home you're not going to make it back," he says.
Mctyre will be home on leave for two weeks before returning to Iraq. He'll be awarded a purple heart when he goes back.