Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Solvay High School graduate and Army Reservist Julian Schiltz returned home from Afghanistan Tuesday.
Schiltz took part in some 270 missions with the 444th Engineer Company out of Oswego. The 25-year-old had some close calls in Afghanistan and his family is relieved to have him home.
Schiltz was greeted by a mob of sign and balloon wielding friends and family.
"I was nervous when I landed here and I saw everyone screaming and stuff, it was pretty amazing,” Schiltz told NewsChannel 9.
Schiltz was injured not once, but twice in IED explosions.
Through the good and the bad, Schiltz’s mom says he’s a better man for it.
“He’s an awesome, awesome guy. So much more than I think he even realizes. I think he found a lot of himself that he didn’t know was in there,” Schiltz’s mom Deborah said.
Julian wasn't the only Soldier to arrive home Tuesday night. Other members of his unit arrived home as well, and Julian's family is proud of each and every one of them.
“And our prayers go out to the parents and their families for boys and men that didn't come back,” said Schiltz's Aunt Susan Steinbaugh.
Three men from Schiltz’s unit didn’t make it home.
Fighting back the tears, Schiltz told NewsChannel 9, “It’s definitely good to be home.”
Schiltz will be home for the next six months before reporting back for another 10 months. He plans to enroll at SU when he’s done and hopes to become an X-ray technician.