He spent two Christmases serving our country in Iraq and this year a Pike County soldier is home celebrating with his family and friends.
Staff Sergeant T.J. Coleman survived two attacks during his first tour of duty in 2004.
He says the second tour in Iraq was much different, but Coleman and his family are very excited he's finally home.
Staff Sergeant T.J. Coleman spent a total of five years away from home, serving in the army. Last Christmas he was in the middle of a 15-month tour in Iraq.
“Well being gone for so long, anything at home you appreciate it all. Family and friends, it's just a great thing to be home this time,” T.J. Said.
Coleman, a Millard High School graduate, says he always wanted to join the military.
“This is the only place I was born and raised. Pretty much after graduation I took off. I'm ready to come back home,” T.J. said.
Now that he's home, Coleman looks forward to fixing up his 70's model Chevy Nova with his father.
He says the support of his family is what kept him going overseas.
“It was hard, but still you have to support him. You know what he does. No matter if he's in danger. Whatever, you still have to be there for him,” Lois Coleman said.
Coleman says there was less fighting during his second tour in Iraq.
His infantry division helped Iraqis establish new government and set-up schools, which gave him the chance to reach out to people.
Coleman and his family agree, it's time to have their hero back in the mountains, even if its just for a little while.
Staff Sergeant Coleman will head back to base in Germany on January 4th.
He plans to come home for good in March after his service is up.