Welcomed soldier gets welcomed meal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Welcomed soldier gets welcomed meal

"Welcome home, my special soldier cousin, Patrick."  Nine-year-old Gregory McBride read the poster he made aloud.   "My American Hero."  His cousin, Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrick Malone has been in the military since 1999.

His career has taken him to Alaska, Japan, and Korea.  After eight months in Iraq, it was finally time for "food," said Malone.  "Food and hunting season and sports."

Malone's mother, Tracy Malone, said she screamed when her son's plane landed.  

"He said he could hear me over the plane engines, over everything in the flight line," said Tracy Malone.  Malone said Patrick is one of two of her sons in the military.  She joined the Welcome Home Soldiers group when Patrick received orders to go to Iraq.

"I needed to do something," said Sergeant Malone.  "I needed to do whatever I could do to support the troop, to claim every victory and believe that he was actually coming home to me."  It was a dream come true going back home to Mom and everything that comes with it.

"Right now, it's all about the food," said Sergeant Malone.  "The food tasted good, but it wasn't good.  It was the same thing everyday, every kind of chicken, imaginable."  So what was on the menu, Saturday? 

"Fried chicken, potato salad and baked beans," said Tracy Malone.  And because it was Mom's chicken, Sgt. Malone was okay with it. 

"It's not chicken curry," said Malone.  This soldier's family is okay with him, too grateful for his service. 

"The Bible says there's nothing greater than laying down your life for your fellow man," said Clifton Malone, Sgt. Malone's grandfather and Korean War Veteran.  "I'm proud of anybody that's willing to sacrifice their life to fight for our country."

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com


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