Local Soldier Returns Home From Afganistan With An Army Of His Own Waiting For Him

A local Army solider returning home after finishing his first deployment overseas.

Pasco native 21-year-old Dwight Mathews served nine months in Afganistan, and he had an army of his own awaiting him today.

Fifteen American Legion riders and a red, a white and a blue truck lead the way down Court Street and onto Dwight's street this afternoon.

"They said something that there would be people on the street waving and that we would just drive through wave at the people and be home," said Dwight.

Dwight had no idea all of his neighbors would be out on their lawns waving flags and holding posters.

All because his neighbor Vicki Bowles went door to door asking others help in welcoming him home.

"They have been very special neighbors to me my entire life and they helped me when I was in really bad situation, I cannot have better neighbors and I wanted to do something special," said Bowles.

Dwight said he was flattered that people and Veterans he didn't even know came out to support him.

"When you're a kid you look at the Vets and think that's pretty cool but I could never do that. It was cool to be able to do it. I mean it wasn't fun by any means but I think it's something that a lot of people are missing out on, it's hard but it's a really big deal," siad Dwight. 

Dwight's mom Jeanette said she has been counting down to this day for nine long months, looking at the calendar multiple times a day.

She said it's hard to let your kid go and constantly wonder about their safety.  

"As a mom you try to make your kids comfortable safe and fed and you don't know if any of that is happening where they are," Jeanette said.

Dwight said serving in the Army and being deployed has increased his appreciation for every day things.

He said it is extremely hard but it's been worth it.

"It's a pride a lot of people don't have."

Viki said she and the rest of the neighbors and friends were happy to come out and welcome Dwight home.

She said he is a brave man and she is honored to have put this together.