Hometown Hero Reflects on his Time at War and Coming Home - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/28/04

Hometown Hero Reflects on his Time at War and Coming Home

As Independence Day draws near, we're going to introduce you to a few soldiers who are "Proud to be in Lubbock" this 4th of July. We start tonight with Joe Sanchez, who returned from Iraq in March.

Joe Sanchez, is a Juvenile Detective for the Lubbock Police Department and a Soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves. Sanchez, a husband and father returned from war a few months ago, after a year away from home.

"My duty in Iraq, I'm in the Humanitarian part of the Army, I go in and help rebuild the country. My job there was I was in charge of the Public Safety Team. Which consisted of working with all of the Public Safety Emergency units," said Sanchez.

Even though Sanchez has been stationed all over Central America, Europe and Bosnia, he says Iraq was his first experience in active combat. "It was scary, you just had to make sure that your soldiers were taken care of and that you were prepared to take whatever action you had to take."

As for the recent changeover of power in Iraq, Sanchez says the U.S. will still play an active role there even though Iraq is now in charge. But with Independence Day ahead, he does add he's proud to be home.

"It has a special meaning because yes I've been to Iraq and I've come back in one piece and it just makes us realize how great it is to be in America. I'm patriotic but I also have a duty to my Country. What I'm doing now hopefully means my kids won't have to do. Freedom is not cheap and if you ever see a Serviceman or Soldier just tell them thanks," says Sanchez.

Sanchez does not know what's next at this time, he could be deployed again with only one month's notice.

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