by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--The banners are still up at the National Guard Armory after Wednesday's welcome home celebration. Unless you've been through it yourself, it's difficult to imagine how hard it is to say good-bye to someone you love, as they go off to fight a war on the other side of the world. Now imagine having to do that twice.
"We were there in 2005 and we're back now," Reservist, Sgt. Justin Humphries, said.
He was among the soldiers coming home Wednesday to music, a sea of flags, cheers and a whole lot of love. Love coming from his wife and baby girl, whom he hasn't seen in over a year.
"I haven't seen her in 14 months. It's been a long time," Humphries, said.
Humphries Wife, Tiffany, has been waiting anxiously with their daughter, to welcome her husband home, "It's like the best thing ever. I've been anticipating this, for a long time, counting down the days on the calendar, marking each day off."
Terry Johnson, with Hunt for Heroes, is among those responsible for putting this welcome together. He emphasizes why it's so important these soldiers get the credit and recognition they deserve, "It's awesome, the patriotic spirit there is in the Midland-Odessa area. To see these guys meet with their families, it will warm your soul. To see all the flags, it just brings out the warm patriotic spirit in everybody."
For Sgt. Humprhies, it's all in a day's work, "Just knowing it's the right thing to do. Somebody needs to do it and I enjoy serving our country. It's protecting us as well as our kids."
For Tiffany, it was the little things that kept her going, waiting for Justin to come home, "Just getting a phone call or just thinking that he's safe. And looking at (my daughter) her everyday, gets me through. She keeps me going everyday."
The response from the crowd should have been enough of a sign to let these heroes know just how much they're appreciated.
According to Humphries, "I'm just glad everyone showed up and made it such a big deal that we all came home. It's great, everybody giving us an escort all the way here."