An East Texas family gathered Saturday night and celebrated the return of their hero. Harvey Walker of Tyler, just finished his first tour in Afghanistan and got home a couple of days ago. The family invited KLTV 7 to help surprise this local soldier and show him how proud they are of his sacrifice and service to our country.
After a long and grueling 15 months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Walker and his family are thankful to be celebrating this homecoming.
"I do believe prayers go up, blessings come down," said Harvey's Aunt Sheila Holmes. "He's a blessing. He and his family standing here in Tyler, it's a blessing and an answer to prayer"
"It's been exciting, but then on the other hand it's been sad you know, just reading the newspaper and wondering is this him and is this his company," said Harvey's mother Vivian Walker. "Right now, we are just overjoyed." Walker comes home to a large family, including his wife and baby Isaiah, who was only one-month-old when his daddy was deployed.
"He was different," said Walker. "I was real happy to see him. He didn't like me in the first couple of days, but he warmed up to me." Walker says he's excited to bond with his son over this next year at home and just enjoy some much deserved R&R.
"It's really fast over there, so it's kind of hard to come back and let everything slow down," said Walker. "So, it'll be real good, watch TV, eat some good food, real food."
"I praise God just for him coming home safely," said Holmes. "It's been a blessing just to know that he's on this soil." Joining the Army was an impulse move for Walker and his family says they couldn't be prouder than looking at the hero he's become.
"I'm just so proud that he would take the honor of doing this for our country," said Holmes. Thankful for his life, but the Walkers say not a day goes by they don't pray for other military families as well.
Walker and his family will return to North Carolina, where he's stationed. He'll be back for at least a year, then could be deployed again.