Soldier welcomed home by Patriot Guard Riders - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Soldier welcomed home by Patriot Guard Riders

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Family, friends and Patriot Guard riders waited anxiously at the Lake Charles Airport on Friday.

The homecoming was one that Army Spc. Clint Habetz's wife, Angel, could barely put to words.

"I am going through any emotion you can possibly think of," she said. "I am just so happy he is coming home."

Habetz returned Friday afternoon from his second  tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Habetz was stationed in Italy and has been gone for one year.

"It feels so great to be home," he said. "I have been waiting to come home for a year."

He was welcomed home by the Patriot Guard Riders, a group that formed out of Missouri.

The riders began when protestors from Westboro Baptist Church began protesting at the funerals of veterans, claiming the deaths of American troops were retribution of homosexuality.

"It's not right to protest against our military and veterans," Southwest Louisiana's Ride Captain, Robert Sargeant, said. "He is serving our country doing what he can so we can have the freedom we have."

Today, the group has more than 200,000 members. The group attends military funerals when requested by family, escorts troops out, welcomes home those serving.

"It's not just military that we do," Sargent said. "We do police, firefighters, first responders, basically all of our heroes."

The group is widely known for their motorcycles, but they say that it is not a requirement to join.

"Any red-blooded American that wants to stand and hold a flag to our veterans is more than welcome," Sargent said.

Riders brought flags and cheered as Habetz came home.

"I think it's great of them to do this for me," Habetz said. "It's nice to be recognized for something like this."

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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