Soldier Returns Home to Warm Welcome

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MCADOO -- A soldier from Hazleton received a hero's welcome on Sunday.

Staff Sergeant Thomas Sheppard was on his way home from Philadelphia after returning from Afghanistan when he was greeted in by an escort of vehicles and supporters.

Newswatch 16 caught up with the soldier in Schuylkill County, as the escort made it's way through McAdoo.  Fire tucks, boy scouts and even Santa joined in the festivities.

Sergeant Sheppard was blown away by the welcome.

"Especially this close to the holidays after being gone for almost a year and a half I do really appreciate it.  It is nice to see after all this time after 12 years of Iraq and Afghanistan that there still is this many people that support us because without these people it doesn't make it worth it for us to do our jobs anyway," said Sgt. Sheppard.

The community escort took sergeant Sheppard and his family through Carbon and Schuylkill Counties and home to Luzerne County.