Soldier Returns Home On His 26th Birthday - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/06/08- East Texas

Soldier Returns Home On His 26th Birthday

A large crowd surprised an East Texas soldier who came home today after serving more than 2 years in Iraq. In a KLTV 7 exclusive, Courtney Lane shows us that this is an extra special homecoming for 26-year-old Brandon Dailey. That's because it's his birthday.

The Dailey family couldn't ask for a better gift than having their son home from war.

"We're so grateful that he's coming home," said mother Darlene Dailey.  "Prayers have been answered. There's no doubt about that."

Brandon Dailey, now 26, has been serving in the Army as a Security and Weapons Specialist. After more than 2 years in the dangerous Al Anbar Province, he was greeted Tuesday by a long line of red, white, and blue.

Filled with emotional embraces, the elaborate homecoming was more than this birthday boy expected.

"I'm still a little overwhelmed," said Brandon. 

Looking back on his last 15 month tour in Ramadi, Dailey said the violence has dropped significantly, thanks to their training.

"When we first got there it was pretty hectic but we got it calmed down and handed over to the Marines," said Brandon.

"He would tell me 'Mom, I can really do my job well so try not to worry,'" said Darlene. 

"Right now you can pretty much walk down the streets without gear on and not have to worry about getting attacked," said Brandon. 

It's a dangerous mission to help bring peace - and now, thanks to lots of prayer, the Dailey family has peace of their own and Brandon is back in their arms again.

"This is the absolute example of the power of prayer," said Darlene. 

Brandon Dailey will be home for at least a year. There's a 50/50 chance he could deploy again after that. But for now, he plans to celebrate his birthday and homecoming with his closest friends and family.

Courtney Lane, Reporting

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