EMMAUS, Pa. - Family and friends gathered in Emmaus Monday to welcome home a local solider.
Emergency vehicles with lights and sirens on led the way for the car in which Army Specialist Matthew Bachert was riding with loved ones. The procession ended at Emmaus High School, where a crowd was waiting to welcome him home.
"It's overwhelming, it's very overwhelming, but I'm happy, I'm happy all these people came out, it's nice," said Spc. Bachert, who is in the U.S. Army Reserve.
The 22-year-old has been away from home for almost a year. He spent eight months in Afghanistan training the Afghan National Army. The time apart was not easy for his family.
"Every time I talk to him I break down because I love him and I miss him," said his father, Mickey, wiping tears from his eyes.
His mother, Kris, said, "I know he really doesn't think he deserves this but he does."
Bachert's girlfriend, Laiken Baillie, said, "Words don't even explain it. I can't even tell you how proud I am, it's amazing what they do for us."
Bachert's family couldn't be prouder of him or happier to have him home. Still, he was humble and did not want to be the center of attention.
I'm proud of what we did over there, proud to be in the United States Army Reserves, but I just feel like some people who really deserve this don't get this opportunity, don't get this hero's welcome," said Bachert.
Besides enjoying the company of friends and family, there are some things about home you just can't beat.
"Sleeping in my own bed," said Bachert.
Earlier in the day relatives hung up signs they made for his return home.
"Beyond excited. He's such a wonderful man," said his aunt, Jamie Foley.
"It's just scary with everything going on over there but we know he's doing what he wants so it's good, we need people like him," said another aunt, Michelle Fey.
Bachert's cousin, Josh Fey, said "He's probably the most standup guy that I know, whether it be in the Army or just a regular guy on the street, can't really beat him."
Allentown, PA 18102