Madisonville soldier welcomed home by family, Patriot Guard

Madisonville soldier welcomed home by family, Patriot Guard Riders

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Friends and family gathered to greet Pfc. Phillip Kirkland. Friends and family gathered to greet Pfc. Phillip Kirkland.
Pfc. Kirkland and his wife were joined by an escort from the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and the Patriot Guard Riders Pfc. Kirkland and his wife were joined by an escort from the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and the Patriot Guard Riders
"My wife wasn't very good at hiding secrets," Kirkland laughed. "My wife wasn't very good at hiding secrets," Kirkland laughed.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - It was a hero's welcome for Pfc. Phillip Kirkland Monday as he made his way home to Madisonville for the first time in almost a year.     

"It's a shock," said Pfc. Kirkland, "a real shock."

Midway thru their trip from Ft. Benning in Georgia, Kirkland and his wife were joined by an escort from the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and the Patriot Guard Riders.

"It's just good to honor them. Everyone needs a welcome home," said Patriot Guard Rider Ken Lentz.

"We have our freedoms to do what we want on a daily basis and the only freedoms we have is because they have been willing to sign their life on the line," said rider Morgan Clough.

Kirkland has served in Kuwait for the last nine months. He now gets a week to spend at home before returning to Ft. Benning.

"Just getting to relax and enjoy everything, try and see and visit with everybody I can," Kirkland said about his plans for the week.

Friends and family gathered to greet the caravan as it arrived, but Kirkland says while he was happy to see everyone, it wasn't a complete surprise.

"My wife wasn't very good at hiding secrets," Kirkland laughed, "especially since she had them calling my phone."

Surprise or not, Kirkland says he is thrilled to be home and grateful to those who came out to greet him.

After he returns to Ft. Benning, Kirkland will complete the rest of his service working on base.

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