Anthony Mason returned home Saturday (April 19), after serving six years in the military as an artillery soldier. He was last deployed in Hawaii.
Mason was medically retired for an injury suffered while serving in Afghanistan. He was greeted at the airport by lots of friends and family.
"It felt really good. I wasn't really expecting anything like this, so it made me feel really good about what I've accomplished so far," said Mason.
His mother-in-law, Wanda Carlin, said she now admires Mason more than she thought she could for the sacrifices he made for his family.
The Patriot Riders were at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and gave Mason an appropriate welcome home. He was also presented a quilt of valor by the Bella Vista Decorative artist. They said this was their first time being able to present the valor to a disabled soldier in person.
Mason said his wife and children accompanied him during his deployment. His wife, Beth Mason, said it was an adjustment for them, but they made it work.
"It's interesting, it really is; but you have a huge support network because everybody's leaving at the same time, you have the other spouses and all the other kids that are going through it," said Beth Mason.
Mason said he was happy to be close to his family again and was looking forward to "getting some normal food."
He said he hopes that all the other soldiers still fighting for the country make it home safely like he did.