Welcoming home two East Texas soldiers

By Morgan Chesky - email

It was a party at Tyler Pounds Field Airport Tuesday night, all for two returning East Texas soldiers.

U.S. Army Sergeant Brandon Donaldson has returned from Afghanistan; finally able to hold his daughter for the first time in fifteen months. For Specialist Jillian Batista, family and flags stirred deep emotions. Taking time to thank those who welcomed them back, both soldiers shared what it meant to come home to East Texas.

"It feels great," said Sgt. Donaldson. "Feels good to get the support."

"I love it here," said Specialist Batista.

Both soldiers have just eighteen days before having to head back to Afghanistan. Sgt. Donaldson says his only plan is to spend time with his daughter. Specialist Batista and her children will open some overdue Christmas presents.