Longview Soldier Back Home After Iraq Tour - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

2/12/05-Longview

Longview Soldier Back Home After Iraq Tour

      A Longview soldier is trying to get back to normal after 14 months in Iraq. At 22 and already a hardened army veteran, Emanuel Fletcher is home after a tiring 14 month tour in Iraq, and eager to get back to a normal life.

   "When we finally landed in Longview i heard the cheers, that's when it dawned on me , I'm finished with it I'm at the house" says Fletcher.

     His parents greeted him when he came home Thursday night, a greeting he won't soon forget.

     "And when i peeked around the corner and when he came in i just couldn't do anything but grab my baby" says mother Lavell Daniels.

     Some of his first words to his mom?

   "Cook me some fried chicken" he said.

      The 2002 Longview high school graduate now wants to enjoy the things he missed while away for so long.

     "My family my mammas home cooked meals, my girlfriend, i miss my Longview lobos games, especially my favorite drink 'yoo-hoo'" Fletcher says.

   " I hung in there with him and i told him your dad is proud of you , i always let him know I'm very proud of him" says father Elias.

    Sadly his favorite uncle passed away while he was overseas, and he couldn't be home for the funeral. He's also saddened at friends lost in Iraq.

   "My good friend up there was in the 302nd and a mortar round went off and he got killed" Fletcher says.

     Now he enjoys the little things he's missed for 14 months, like sleeping in a bed instead of a cot, or just talking with his family. Iraq was a learning experience for Fletcher, an experience that's made him stronger.

     "I'm glad i did what i did, theres no place like the U.S.A., and if i have to go back I'll do it again" Fletcher hopes to attend the university of Houston for an engineering degree. Bob Hallmark reporting.

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