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Local soldier returns from Afghanistan
Soldier returns pic
Family and friends greeted U.S. Army PFC Tyler Youngblood, who arrived in Atlanta in mid-March after an 11-month tour in Afghanistan. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

A special homecoming celebration was delayed a couple weeks for U.S. Army PFC Tyler Youngblood who arrived in Atlanta last month from an 11-month tour in Afghanistan.

Mother Anita Youngblood said life is great, knowing her son is back home safe.

"It just hit me my son is back," she said a few days after he arrived home. "I am so use to checking [online] to see if he is online so I can talk to him. No more worrying, no more [restless] nights."

A 2009 Dawson County High School graduate, Tyler Youngblood joined the Army within a few months of graduation and was on his way to Kuwait when he got his orders to instead go to Afghanistan.

Stationed in northern Kunduz province, one of several allied forces targeted following the reported burning of Qurans by NATO forces earlier this year, Youngblood was originally scheduled to be home a few weeks ago.

The unrest in the region had his mother on edge, to say the least.

While he can't speak on specifics of his work, Youngblood's service in Afghanistan primarily involved peacekeeping missions and setting communications for the base.

"Just knowing that I am helping keep my family safe is what does it for me," he said.

After about two weeks of rest and recuperation at home, Youngblood will be stationed at Ft. Polk in Louisiana.

With time on his side to plan his future, Youngblood said he's considering making a career in the military "for the simple fact that I don't think I could find as much pride in my work doing any other job."