Local soldier returns home to open arms

Local soldier welcomed home to open arms

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A local soldier received a big welcome home by friends and family Monday night at Lake Charles Regional Airport. Sulphur native and Louisiana National Guard Specialist Sam George returned home to open arms by those who have missed him most.

George, 20, has been serving in Afghanistan for 8 months as a gunner assigned to the 1086th Transportation Company. While he's kept in contact with friends and family thru the Internet - he's said nothing feels better than being at home.

George is home for two weeks on R & R leave and looks forward to catching up and just taking it easy. He said things have started to heat up overseas.

"Not a whole lot has been going on in the winter, but when spring gets here, which it has, that's when stuff starts getting hard. It's fighting season. I've learned to appreciate everything. There's a lot of stuff people take for granted - like just being and being with the people you love," said George.

"It's a relief knowing that he is here alive and healthy. The hardest part is you can't talk to him whenever you want. It has to be when it is convenient for him. I can't just pick up the phone and call him whenever I need him. So that's been really hard. We're just glad to have him home, " said Shelbee Barrios, George's sister.

George also said he's missed the food and is looking forward to getting his fair share of boiled crawfish while home. But his visit will be short-lived - he heads back to Afghanistan in two weeks for another four months to finish out his tour.