Welcome home celebration for injured Iowa soldier - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Welcome home celebration for injured Iowa soldier

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LA PORTE CITY (KWWL) -

In May, about 2 dozen Iowa Army National Guard soldiers returned home after a year in Iraq.

They were welcomed by their family and friends with a celebration.

One solder from the 248th Aviation Support Battalion missed the celebration because he was recieving medical treatment in Missouri.

Sergeant Shane Klein had no idea nearly 100 people would be there to greet him as he came home.

They all said a big thank you for his service in Iraq.

They're glad to see him finally home.

It was a hero's welcome for Sergeant Shane Klein.

Family, friends and strangers lined his La Porte City street to welcome him home from a year long deployment to Iraq.

Klein hurt his neck while in Iraq.

He was at an Army hospital when his unit returned to Waterloo a couple of weeks ago.

"It bothered me not to be there for everybody else too with everybody else so we always were there for each other during the whole deployment so it's hard not being there for them when they come home," said Sgt. Klein.

Sergeant Brian Mader worked closely with Klein in Iraq.

"It kind of stunk to me because he was always my right hand man. We worked together and when he was gone, it was like many, my buddy's gone," said Sgt. Mader.

Klein's mother says her three sons were in Iraq at the same time.

She's happy to see this kind of support for one son's return.

"When his dad came home from Vietnam, he was spit on at the airport. That's a big difference. Our sons very much appreciate the support that they get," said Cassie Klein.

Meantime for Sgt. Klein, he'll be happy to have some quiet moments in everyday American life.

"All those things you take for granted when you're at home, you realize how important they are when you're gone, even the littlest stuff," said Sgt. Klein.

Klein says what a difference a year makes.

He says his four children have grown a lot over that time.

He says he's glad to be back to spend time with them and watch them keep growing.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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