An Independence soldier received a special homecoming on Monday.
Spec. Ryan T. Sketch is a Scout of the 5th Calvary D-Troop, part of a unit that does reconnaissance for the larger army battalions.
Sketch has been in the Kandahar Arghandab River Valley in Afghanistan for the last year, where he developed a special bond with the children in the village.
He is stationed in Baumholder, Germany. He will spend some time in Fort Campbell after his visit with his family.
Sketch was welcomed home by his family Monday morning at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
"We are very excited and anxious to see him and want him to feel celebrated, loved and how proud we are of him," said his parents, Madaline and Pete, in an email to FOX19.
Sketch said he has learned a lot from his experience in Afghanistan and his service has been "eye-opening."
"You see a different side of people," he said. "You see people at their worst and people sometimes at their best. It was a great experience for me. I learned a lot and I did a lot. I challenged myself."