Three area soldiers were welcomed back home from war at the Quad City International Airport Friday, August 10, 2012 amid a deadly week in Afghanistan when seven U.S troops were killed.
For the family of Private First Class Zach Hull, his arrival a huge relief.
"Happiness. Pure joy," said his mom, Diane Carver of Monmouth. "It's been almost a year since I've seen him," she said through tears.
The 25-year-old soldier spent eight months on the front lines in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. He was a combat engineer who saw much death and destruction
"I'm just trying to re-integrate to society, but it's nice to be with family," PFC Hull said.
His father, Billy Hull, was on hand to greet his only son, who escaped injury when his convoy ran over a roadside bomb.
"He checked for bombs every morning, 24-7, that was his job," said Hull. A proud dad, but blunt about his feelings about the war.
"It's senseless. We got who we wanted, we should have pulled 'em out by now," Hull said. "But my boy's back home in one piece," he said.
Plans for the weekend all involve relaxing with family, celebrating Zach's safe return from the war zone.
"It brings a smile to my face," the handsome young soldier said. "It means a lot."