Heroes Come Home: Soldier returns after earning second Purple Heart

MILWAUKEE -- A soldier returned home from overseas on Thursday, November 15th -- just in time for the holidays. Major Jonathan Freyer earned a second Purple Heart, and got quite the unexpected welcome at the airport Thursday.

At Mitchell International Airport Thursday evening, a crowd of Freyer's family and friends holding American flags and "welcome home" signs waited for their favorite soldier to step off of Concourse C.

When Freyer came into sight, the crowd erupted, and there was an emotional embrace between Freyer and his wife, Jackie.

Freyer returned from a nearly year-long mission in Afghanistan as a civil leaders officer -- working with local business leaders and politicians to help them take control of their war-torn country.

"Very caring, always interested in other people, and that's what he did in Afghanistan," Freyer's mother told FOX6 News.

Freyer earned his Purple Heart after suffering a concussion and a perforated ear drum after his base's chow hall blew up.

"You expect to get hit out there. This one we were actually on our base. We were hit by a suicide bomber outside our perimeter," Freyer said.

"You want to celebrate and give thanks and we give thanks that he's okay, but on the other hand, it could've been so different," Freyer's wife Jackie said.

Freyer earned his first Purple Heart serving in Iraq during Thanksgiving, and now, this November, Freyer has returned home, possibly for good.

Freyer told FOX6 News it's good to be home. He says he plans to return home to Brookfield and catch up with his family, but he'll also finish up his post-graduate work at Marquette University where he is studying leadership studies.