This past Saturday, I attended at a welcome home celebration for a young Marine.

L/Cpl. Brandon Harris, returned home for a brief visit before returning to his unit based in California. Brandon is a family friend, and recently returned from his tour of duty  in Afghanistan.

Although Brandon is only 20, I could see the development and changes this young man has been through in the past few years into his transformation into a Marine.

Brandon talked about some of what he experienced with the locals during the course of his mission.  It's amazing how Americans are viewed by those of another nation. Brandon stated that at times, it was a love/hate relationship between Afghans and Americans. The one thing that he was happy about, was to be back on American soil again.

He said that one of his first stops when he made it back to the U.S. and some personal time, was a stop at many of the well-known fast-food establishments. Cheeseburgers and tacos were something that he and his fellow Marines didn't get to enjoy for several months, unless it was in the form of the MRE's that are issued to most troops in remote operations.

I know that Brandon and his family are grateful that he made it back home safely.  Brandon told me before he left, that he was thankful for all of those who supported the troops, regardless of if they agreed with the mission or not.  I'm glad to report that He still feels that way. Brandon has another three years until his enlistment is completed.  He's not certain where the mission will take him next, but said he was ready for it. I have no doubt that he is.

Welcome home Brandon, and to all of our military personnel who have recently returned home to us.