With a light snow falling on rows of waving American flags US Army Specialist Vincent Otting arrived home from Iraq to a warm welcome in his hometown of Aurora, Illinois.
The 2007 graduate of West Aurora High school was most recently deployed near Mosul, Iraq on his second tour of duty.
"Last Christmas I was alone in Kuwait ... I slept through New Years," the Humvee driver said. "This year I'll get to spend it with everybody. This will be the best Christmas."
Otting was met at the city limits by Aurora Police and fire vehicles who escorted him in a motorcade to his parent's home. After his holiday at home, he will be stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
"It's the best Christmas present ever. It's been a long year, so we're glad he's home. It's going to be great," said Judy Otting, Vincent's mother.