Soldiers Return Home To Open Arms, Tears

Specialist Brandon Hurley
Specialist Brandon Hurley
Specialist Joseph Qualls
Specialist Joseph Qualls
Staff Sergeant Vela
Staff Sergeant Vela

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - With banners, American flags, and tears of joy, soldiers were welcomed back to the Panhandle.  The overwhelming theme on Wednesday was joy, and definite relief that the soldiers are safely home from Iraq.

Texas Army Reserve Specialist Joseph Qualls knew the moment he wanted to serve our country: "ever since September eleventh; it hit hard and I decided to do something about it."

That decision led him to Northwestern Iraq for almost a year, where he and his comrades served the U.S...and other soldiers.

Sergeant First Class David Quine says, "we were bringing supplies in from the Jordanian border, bringing them and dispersing them throughout the country."

All the while, loved ones in this country waited with baited breath for their safe return.

Qualls' grandmother, Kellie, says "we did a lot of praying; he's our sparring buddy, we missed him bad and I thank God he's home."

The Hurley family feels the same way.  Shanna says, "I'm just excited, just super excited, it's been a long time we've been waiting for this."

Specialist Brandon Hurley says, "I'm just glad to be here. Glad see my family again."

Sgt. Quine says, "there's a lot of things you take for granted, when you get home it's the little things you miss that you don't have here."

Staff Sergeant Vela says, "I thank the community and family for supporting us."

Two groups of soldiers have returned so far this week, and more are expected.