DURANT, OK -- One Texoma family celebrated Memorial Day in a special way. They welcomed their loved one home from serving overseas with a surprise homecoming the Durant Marine will never forget.
There were plenty of tears as family and friends welcomed Corporal Chad McCArty home from Afghanistan. He has not been home in about a year and his mother wanted to show him just how much he was missed.
Jo Nelson says she has been crying for weeks anxiously waiting for her son Corporal Chad McCarty to come home.
"I cry every time he comes home. Every time he comes home. Every time he comes in, every time he leaves. Yea I'm a ball bag," Nelson said.
McCarty arrived in Dallas Monday morning, but never imagined he would be met by dozens of patriot guard riders when he hit Colbert.
As the loud rumble of the Patriot Guard Riders rounded the corner tears started to pour as McCarty's family members and friends gathered close.
"I was excited to come home like I always am, but as I saw all the motorcycles and the Patriot Guard Riders. That was awesome," McCarty said.
McCarty says he has been in the Marine Corps for about three and a half years and he has been serving over in Afghanistan as an avionics technician for the past seven months working on military helicopters.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of him right now. I am SO proud of that boy," Nelson said.
McCarty says it is lonely being overseas away from his loved ones and friends and family say it is just as hard for them.
"It's a good feeling knowing that he's back from being over there," William Rackley, a friend of McCarty's, said.
"I'm an old Marine. I'm glad to see a young one to come home in one piece," another friend, William Hunter said.
"It feels good to see him here when he comes here, but I'll cry when he leaves," Janet Scribner, McCarty's Aunt, said.
McCarty's home for 10 days before he has to return to work at Camp Pendleton, California.
"It's always hard to leave," McCarty said.
"This one's not near as hard because he's not going back to Afghanistan," Nelson said.
He says time at home is precious and hopes all those who have served get the same appreciation and gratitude he has received.
McCarty says in seven months he will have to decide if he is going to reenlist.