Happy Homecoming For A Green Country Soldier

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 4:13 pm
By: News On 6

The grill was fired up and the hugs were waiting for a Sapulpa man who is no stranger to serving his country. The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports Saturday was a happy homecoming for a Green Country soldier after more than a year in Iraq.

Specialist Kenneth Crider's family welcomed him home on Saturday. There was some sun-soaked patriotism on display along with a proud family of a son who served.

“Very proud,” said Kenneth's father, Larry Crider.

Joy can be added to the emotional checklist as his dad waits for his soldier son to finally come home.

“Just excited he's made it in safe and sound along with the complete unit that was over there,” said Larry Crider.

The 245th Engineering Group out of Bristow, received a hero's send-off one year ago. Its soldiers spent the year in Iraq. Larry Crider’s son helped escort Iraqi dignitaries around the country. The only way the two could talk was by an instant message on the computer.

“So I would leave it on just in case he would log on to it,” said Larry Crider.

After waiting more than 365 days, Specialist Crider was finally in sight.

A quick exchange between dad and his camera shy son.

“Welcome home,” said Larry Crider to his son Specialist Kenneth Crider.

“I hate camera crews,” joked Specialist Kenneth Crider.

Specialist Crider may not be a big fan of the television crews, but he’s glad to be back among family and some home cooking.

“Very tired of eating chicken and Salisbury steak. That's what we had a lot of over there,” said Specialist Kenneth Crider.

The smiles are for more than Specialist Crider's homecoming, it was also a birthday party for his young daughter Noelani.

“How old are you?” Kenneth asked his daughter Noelani.

“Three,” Noelani responded.

“No, how old are you now?” asked Specialist Crider

“Four,” Noelani said.

Specialist Crider returned just in time to celebrate his daughter’s fourth birthday and can now take steps back into civilian life.

“Get reconnected with my wife, my kids, and my friends,” said Specialist Kenneth Crider.

In addition to this tour, Specialist Crider also served nine months in Afghanistan in 2004 and helped with disaster relief in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He's not sure if he'll be asked to serve again, but says he's in full support of the country's effort in Iraq.

Watch the video: Soldier's Homecoming Is Also Daughter's Birthday