LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Just 3 years ago he was in college at LSU; but this week Corporal Frederick Granger is celebrating his homecoming from serving a full year in Iraq.
"I just wanted to do something different, so I decided to enlist in the Army," says Granger.
That decision would change Granger's life forever, as just 2 years later he would be deployed to Iraq.
"It was a pretty hostile environment we were in," says Granger. "We conducted over 300 missions in Iraq."
Granger says his experience was so intense that at times he keeps his stories to himself.
"It just depends on who I'm talking to," says Granger. "That determines what I tell them."
Granger actually returned back to his stationed home in Fort Hood, Texas the day after the tragic killings back in November.
"It was a little hard to imagine that it happened on a military base, but also on the one I'm stationed at," says Granger.
Back home in Lake Charles family and friends gathered to welcome Granger home at a party at OB's bar and grill.
"He was in harm's way every single day," says Kathy Granger, mother of Frederick Granger. "I never got a rest from the worry until he got to come home."
Although Granger is home from a full year of service in Iraq, he never forgets about those who didn't make it back, and those still fighting over seas.
"I feel fortunate to be back," says Granger. "I look back on it and I think about some of the guys who aren't able to come back. Today I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with everyone. That's what matters most."
Granger reports back to Fort Hood on January 19th.