Tara Vreeland, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma soldier returned to the homefront Wednesday. Army Captain Cody Willis is back from Afghanistan for the first time since 2009.
"I haven't seen him in 13 months and I can't wait to get my arms around him," Lana Willis said.
Willis, of the 2nd Striker Cavalry Regiment, spent one year in Afghanistan. He hasn't seen his family for that long.
His mother fooled him into thinking that only a handful of people would be at the airport. Not so. It was a reunion and a hug a year in the making.
"It feels really good," Captain Willis said. "I haven't been here since 2009. It's nice to be back."
Captain Willis says he thought a lot about Oklahoma while overseas. His says his group was stationed high in the mountains. Supplies were dropped in by helicopter.
"We didn't have anywhere to live so we lived in our trucks and this mud hut that we took over," he said. "We lived like that for two or three months until we got some tents flown in to us."
Captain Willis says it was rough and made him appreciate what he has back home.
He says he'll soak it all in while he's on three weeks of leave. The family says they'll have a big Fourth of July bash and plan to go trout fishing.
"He lost 20 pounds while he was there. I know he's not getting to eat that much. I'm going to fatten him up when he's here," Lana said.
"I'm going to eat a lot. I miss American food; cheeseburgers!" he said.
Willis' grandfather is a Navy Veteran. Lewis Teter jokingly said he wasted his Navy stories on his grandson when he was young, but he's still proud that he joined the Army and is home safe.