Hero Home For New Years

An East Texas family is celebrating Christmas a little late, but with their hero home from war. Army Corporal Jonathan Montgomery flew home to Tyler late Sunday afternoon. He had been delayed a few days in Kuwait.

East Texas News' Courtney Lane was there with a huge group that greeted this hero, as he stepped back on Texas soil.

He was treated just like a celebrity; swarmed by family, friends and supporters. Corporal Jonathan Montgomery said he wasn't expecting such an entourage, but it got him excited for these 18 days at home.

"Share a lot of laughs, share a few memories and just overall enjoy being away from Iraq and just relieve a little bit of stress and have some fun," says Corporal Montgomery.

Corporal Montgomery just finished serving 6 months in Iraq, but has been in the service for over 2 years. His mom and dad said seeing their son home and healthy is the best present they could ask for.

"Total elation, total elation and just such a blessing he has come back home safe, half way through, just thanking God for that," said his mother Kathleen Montgomery.

He flew out of Baghdad Christmas day, but then got delayed. However not to worry, his family has Christmas prepared, waiting at home.

"We have a Texas stocking waiting for him that's full of stuff," said Kathleen.

How does this soldier plan on ringing in the New Year?

"Hopefully a lot of resting and re-cooperating," said CPL. Montgomery.

We're going to have ribs and new potatoes, that's our favorite," said Kathleen.

So there is much to be thankful for, as the Montgomerys head into 2009 together once again.

Corporal Montgomery's mom is also a volunteer with the "Welcome Home Soldier's Organization." Her son will be home for 18 days before heading back to Iraq.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com