A very patriotic start to July 4th celebrations at DFW International Airport when hundreds of people gathered to welcome home nearly 250 US soldiers. The men and women returned from Iraq and Afghanistan for two weeks of rest and relaxation.
In the sea of red, white and blue, Welcome Home a Hero volunteers like Bert Brady gathered.
"They’ll never get a reception like this probably in their lives by total strangers," said Brady. "It’s just wonderful for us and it’s wonderful for them also."
Brady wants to be sure our troops feel appreciated as the wars overseas drag on. Brady's come out to greet returning troops too many times to count.
Others, like John Hollingshead anxiously awaited family members. Hollingshead told News 8, he feels like he's waited what feels like months for his son to return home.
"It seems like forever," said Hollingshead.
His son, U-S soldier Clint Hollingshead told News 8 he just got word he would be coming home a few weeks ago.
"My best friends are here, my dad is here," said Clint. "It’s probably the best thing you can see coming off the flight.
These soldiers, who fight for our nation's freedom every day, can appreciate the real value of Independence Day. They get to celebrate with their families.
Hollingshead is one of many with big plans for how he will be celebrating the fourth. For him, it is all about a cold beer, Chipotle or maybe a nice, juicy steak. As he told News 8 "you have no idea how close that is to my heart."
The soldiers are home for 15-days before they head back to duty in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Welcome Home a Hero program at DFW International Airport is always looking for volunteers to give our soldiers a warm welcome home.