Family Of Tupelo Soldier Counts Their Blessings

Hundreds of Mississippi families are breathing sighs of relief because their loved ones are back home from Iraq. On Wednesday, another wave of the 155th Brigade Combat Team arrived at the Air National Guard base in Gulfport.

Among those 250 National Guardsmen was Sergeant Josh Green of Tupelo whose family has a long history of service to country.

Charlotte Green had been told her son would be among the soldiers flying into Gulfport on Wednesday, but she had no way to be sure. Even so she says she wasn't taking any chances by staying home in Tupelo.

"I've been here since the Monday after Christmas just waiting," she said. "I didn't know exactly when, so I came down to play it safe."

With a hero's welcome, hundreds of members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team stepped off a plane and into the arms of family and friends. They'd been serving in Iraq.

Charlotte Green held her son Sergeant Josh Green for the first time in a year.

"I'm so glad you're back and safe," she cried. "I love you."

Also there to greet Josh Green was his father, Master Sergeant Paul Green. Since Master Sergeant Green works at Camp Shelby mobilizing troops, he had get his own son ready for war.

"He's doing what I did years ago and I'm proud of it," said Mst. Sgt. Green. "I did it years ago, and I didn't get the reception he got. I'm proud he did what he did."

The younger Green says he was proud to follow in his father's footsteps, and he's proud of his service to his country.

"It's really good to be home," said Josh Green. "Thank God. It's been a long year."

"I'm very blessed and thankful," said Charlotte Green. "I think about the mothers and the wives that don't have this privilege and I take a moment for them. But I'm thankful for Josh and for the soldiers that have made it home."

Sergeant Josh Green says he believes the news reports out of Iraq put a negative spin on the U.S. military's role there. He wants people to know he and his comrades did a lot of good while stationed in the Middle East.