Welcome home, David Byrd! - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Welcome home, David Byrd!

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

He's home for good; David Byrd came home to Tyler with a very warm welcome, indeed. The group Welcome Home Soldiers was on hand when David arrived at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, and David dodged a bullet.

Welcoming home members of the military never gets old for some. It doesn't matter what branch they serve in, or where they were stationed. They start showing up an hour before the military man arrives, and they wait. They make sure the soldier is welcomed home, and that he doesn't get away.

"I was not expecting this at all. I was thinking I was going to quietly make it through the airport and go home for good," David Byrd said.

David Byrd did try to go around the Welcome Home Soldiers gauntlet, but they would have none of that. Some of David's family and his girlfriend wouldn't miss it.

"We're all excited to have him finally home. We're going to do a late Christmas and celebrate. We're going to have a little party afterwards after he gets here," Lauran Sulser explained.

But first, he'd have to attend the party at Tyler Pound Regional Airport.

"I'm glad everybody showed up. I'm thankful for these other veterans that did their time, and now I've done mine and now I get to come home," David stated.

And he left his ship, the U.S.S. Chosin, just in time.

"Actually they're deploying in April, the end of April. So I just squeezed out of there," David revealed.

Stationed at Pearl Harbor, he saw three anniversaries while there, although he says he never dreamed he'd end up in Hawaii, just like he never dreamed of a homecoming like this one.

"It blows my mind, I'm just glad people back home realize what we do and appreciate it," David said.

And his mother is one of those people. Even though she was out of state, she found a way to attend thanks to Skype.

David plans on going to school for occupational safety at Kilgore College. He says now he can do the inspecting instead of the other way around.

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