A community turns out for soldier's homecoming
Fox 4 News Staff
FORT MYERS, Fla. - "I just wanted him to realize how much people love him and care about him," said Dianne Miller, Army Specialist Joel Black's mom.
Miller wanted it to be special. She planned the homecoming for over a year.
"Every night that i went to bed, I'd pray that God would take him through another day, where he was."
Groups from all nooks of the community turned out. Some included the Patriot riders, Special Forces, the North Fort Myers High School Band and members of First Christian Church, where the family worships in Cape Coral. All here to welcome home Black.
"You see all the people?" questioned Black in amazement, just after he arrived. "It's crazy. I knew one-percent of those people."
Black was doing patrols in the Zhari District within Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.
"There was no nice spa life, it was just living out by ourselves," described Black.
An experience he couldn't quite put into words.
"Some of it's good, some of it's not so much fun," added Black. "But it's what you signed up for."
Family, friends even strangers gathered to greet Black. His mom is so grateful to have him back.
"To see his face and know he's alive and to know he came back," said Miller, as she cried.
She hopes other military get the same treatment.
"Maybe this will be a pattern that other families can go by," said Miller.
It's a reception that took Black by surprise, as he makes every moment count.
"Whatever i feel like doing I'm going to do," said Black about how he'll spend his time in Fort Myers. "That's one thing i can say, I've earned it,"
Black will be home for three weeks. Then, he returns to Fort Lewis, WA, where he's based.