Back from Afghanistan: A special reunion - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Back from Afghanistan: A special reunion


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A father and son shared a bittersweet reunion with family members at the Rochester International Airport Thursday.

The father, Jim, and his son, Jason McWilliams, will be home for two weeks for some rest and recuperation.

They are stationed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This trip will give them an opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving and an early Christmas with their family.

"We're just thanking the Lord that they came home safely and very proud of them right now, extremely proud," said Karen McWilliams, who is the wife and mother of the pair.

"It's always nice coming back to Minnesota and seeing the faces and the hometown I grew up in," Jason said.

Three generations of McWilliams' have been serving the U.S.

"Joining the Corps of Engineers is a privilege," Jason said. "My grandpa served with them for 20 or 30 years and my dad's been with them for several years now so it's an honor to be over there and helping out Afghanistan."

And with that honor comes some risks.

"When you're landing a plane or a helicopter over there you have to think, 'Are we going to get shot at?' Whenever you leave the confines of the base you always gotta think, 'What's going to happen? This could be my last trip out.'"

But their family members have helped the months go by.

"You do get a few minutes of every day that you can call up and talk to your wives and family and things and that's always kind of a highlight of the day," Jim said.


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