West Michigan Soldier Gets A Warm Welcome Home

Posted at 7:51 PM, Apr 13, 2013

1GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Minutes seemed like hours for Army Specialist Kenny Hoag’s parents Saturday as they waited for him to arrive at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Dozens of his family and friends waited in anticipation to see him, with signs flags and tears they couldn’t wait to finally welcome him home, for good, after serving four years in the Army.

Hoag, a Wayland native and graduate of Thornapple Kellogg High School joined the Army in 2009, just one year after he graduated. During his time, he served nine months in South Korea and most recently just returned from a year tour in Afghanistan.

In South Korea, he was a cook but came back to the U.S. for more advanced training and later went into the infantry, his most recent tour taking him to Afghanistan.

Kenny said “it’s good to know that there`s people back here that still care about you even though you don`t see them all the time you still think about them every day. So to actually come home and see them it feels really good.”

His parents say they couldn’t be proud of him, he went away a kid and came back a man. His dad Brad Hoag said “I think it`s awesome what these kids are doing for this country, but what our community could do for these kids coming back is provide them support. Whether it’s job opportunities or furthering their education or just an overall better understanding.”