BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — After being deployed overseas for almost 6 months, a soldier is finally returning home, just in time for memorial day weekend.
His closest family and friends gathered at his home in Altoona to surprise him.
Billy Weyandt has been serving in the United States Army for almost 20 years and every time he’s deployed his family worries.
“It’s scary when they’re gone because you don’t know what’s going to happen, every time the phone rings, every knock on the door, it’s scary,” Billy’s mom, Sheryl Astore said.
And this last time he was sent overseas was one of the hardest after newly being married.
“Just seeing my best friend’s husbands come home safe, on soil ground, there aren’t words, its been a long few months, but just having him home means the world,” family friend Heather Carruthers said.
So his family and friends surprised him with a welcome home party.
“I wanted him to know that we missed him and we are thankful for what he gave up to fight for us,” Billy’s wife, Desiree Weyandt said.
And now that he’s back…
“I’m just looking forward to being with my family,” Billy said.
A family that couldn’t be prouder of him.
“I see him as one of my role models he does so much for us,” his daughter Amayh said.
“I look up to him as the best dad in the whole universe,” his son Isaiah said.
“To have him home feels amazing, he has always brought our family a type of comfort that we have never really had the chance to feel before,” his step-daughter Jaelyn Sipes said.
While billy is happy to be home, he said Memorial Day is going to be an emotional one.
“It means a lot, I think a lot of people forget what we put on the line and those that can be here, so the fact that I am here and I can continue to serve my country and be with my family means a tremendous amount to me and I know that I’ll look at this holiday completely different than most people,” Billy said.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.