East Texas Soldiers Home In Longview After Iraq Duty - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

2/10/05-Longview

East Texas Soldiers Home In Longview After Iraq Duty

Three East Texas soldiers, who've been serving in Iraq, stepped on Texas soil Wednesday night for the first time in 14 months.

On the day they finally came home to Longview, the soldiers showed their joy of being home by kissing the ground as they got off the plane at the East Texas Regional Airport in Gregg county.

Sergeants "Jeffery May" and "Andy Mcpeek" and specialist Emanuel Fletcher arrived last night to an overwhelming reception.

"Every soldier should have this without people backing us up our morale is going to be lower, we're not going to do our jobs as well to have a reception like this it boosts your morale it lets you know hey your doing something right out there" said Mcpeek.

The homecoming was emotionally draining for some.

"The family being here, it is, getting off the plane, and feeling safe" said May. "Words can't express how we feel , his mother and I" said May's father Jeff May senior.

In a special surprise, May's childhood friend Josh Skobe, who is now a pro-football player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was there to say "thanks" to a man who has now become a hero.

"It really puts things in perspective , how important they are being over there is to our way of life here, we are actually fans of them also" said Skobe.

Now the soldiers look forward to what they "don't" have to do.

"We don't have to wake up to formation we don't have to worry about sergeants so and so getting on to us, it's ours now" Mcpeek said.

Perhaps, Jeffery May's father summed up the feeling of the crowd.

"He's done what he was called to do and I think he did it very well" he said.

As they bask in the attention of their friends and fans, they know it could be very soon when they are called to do what they do again.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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