When President Obama announced the military would withdraw nearly 24,000 troops by the years end, Cindy Brower was stunned.
The mother of eight only had one thing on her mind: bring her son, Jimmy, home.
"Jimmy is a hero. I worry every day that he's been over there," Brower said. "Then when we found out that he's coming home and seen a picture on the military website of him coming off a plane. Oh my gosh, the tears just flowed."
Her son, Army Sgt. James Buehman has been in Iraq for nearly a year now.
It is his second deployment to the war zone.
Jimmy returned home in mid-November.
He said the homecoming has been a bit overwhelming.
"Pretty much just seeing the family," Jimmy said. "It's been so long. I pretty much just want to get back here and kind of relax."
During his time in the military, Jimmy missed a lot of family events, including holidays and his 21st and 23rd birthdays.
"Just hanging out as much as possible, even through work and whatnot," said Jimmy's older sister Rosie Whipkey. "He was excited about chocolate chip cookies, homemade cookies, the chocolate pie my mom made. Try to fatten him up while he's home."
However, the homecoming was a bit short-lived.
Jimmy has two years left in the military and is now at his base in Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
He is preparing for the next phase in his life, whatever that may be.
"Depending on how Afghanistan goes, still not sure about that. I might end up going there," Jimmy said. "It's hard, but at the same time, the guys that I work with are basically family, too. It kinda makes up for it. But it's still hard being away from home."
Until then, he's hoping to go to college, and above all, be closer to home.
With thousands of troops returning home from Iraq, Fox 8 wants to recognize the local men and women who have served.
Reporter Annette Lawless will help share the story of our young soldiers, veterans, their families, the homecomings and resources throughout the community.
Fox 8 is honored to recognize the military hero in your life.
You can e-mail your story to email@example.com.