Hometown Hero happy to be home!

Published 11/02 2012 05:00PM

Updated 11/02 2012 05:51PM

MAHOMET -- After fighting in Afghanistan, a Central Illinois soldier is back home. Thursday Major Dave Porter and his brigade returned to Illinois. But, now he's back in his own town. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield finds out how this Hometown Hero was welcomed home.

He's been gone nearly a year. The 6th Brigade left in January. For many, it seems like a lifetime ago.

That's why Friday, practically the whole town came out to show support for Major Porter. It's the sound and sight any soldier wants to hear after coming back from war.

"I've been anxious to get home since I left."

And, with this kind of support, you can see why.

"I had no idea. There's no words for this."

As a firetruck led Major Porter through town, people lined the streets, holding signs to make him fell welcome.

"We are just really excited to welcome him home today."

"This was amazing, seeing the whole town out. I just feel, this is wonderful. All the people, to see the appreciation from everyone, makes you feel real good."

He's been serving this flag for 15-years in the army and teaching ROTC. This was his first time going to war.

"We were in Ghazni Province, really helping the people of Afghanistan learn to secure their own country and eliminate disrupting forces over there."

A job that makes you appreciate being on your own front lawn, getting hugs from friends and shaking hands with strangers.

"It's just an honor to be given the opportunity to put the uniform on and represent the United States, and provide the service that's being asked of us."

Even though Major Porter has missed a lot to serve, "I have two girls and they're just so much bigger, so the change is what you really notice."

Coming back to this makes it all worthwhile.

"I don't know about being a hero. It's nice to know that Americans and people in Illinois respect our Armed Forces and we are such a force for good."

Thursday, while he and others in the 6th Brigade were at a welcome home ceremony in Springfield, they received Bronze Stars, and he was proud to report everyone who deployed made it home safely. 

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