As you’re reading this, Terry Roderick is on his way home, traveling thousands of miles from Afghanistan.


If all goes as planned, he will soon be a civilian after nine years of proudly wearing the gear of an American soldier as a member of the United States Army.


As you’re reading this, Terry Roderick is on his way home, traveling thousands of miles from Afghanistan.

If all goes as planned, he will soon be a civilian after nine years of proudly wearing the gear of an American soldier as a member of the United States Army.

Kaleb Robertson is waiting for Roderick's arrival. Not that long ago, Robertson made a similar trip home to the states from Afghanistan. He shipped overseas straight out of basic training after enlisting in the Army Reserves in May 2009.

Robertson continues to serve as a weekend soldier and could, at some point in the future, find himself shipping out again.

In the meantime, he waits for his buddy to arrive.

Roderick and Robertson are local boys who grew up in Camdenton, graduated from Camdenton High School and chose to enlist and serve. The two are not only fellow soldiers, but also friends. Roderick and Robertson were both assigned to military police duty.

On Saturday, there will be nothing short of a hero's welcome for Roderick and Robertson as family and friends throw a party and parade in their honor. It is fitting, according to their families, that they celebrate together.

Roderick has been in the United States Army for almost nine years, seven of those spent overseas including 18 months in Iraq and his current time totaling 363 days in Afghanistan as part of a military police unit.

His decision to enlist came not long after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. On Saturday, he will arrive from Afghanistan after spending much of this week en route.

To his family and friends, he is a hero; but to Roderick, the heroes are the ones who "fought before us and those who died for us. Those are the real heroes that made America what it is today."

In a recent Facebook post Roderick wrote, "if we don't do it, who will?"

For his mom, C.J. Rowland of Camdenton, Roderick's arrival in the states means that she will no longer lie awake at night and wonder where he is or how he is doing, always hoping and praying for the best. She will set aside her fear knowing that he is home and out of harms way.

Grateful and humbled, Rowland said she is filled with the pride of a mother whose son has made sacrifices to serve his country and do what he felt was right. She counts her blessings knowing her son is safe and sends her thoughts and prayers to those families who have lost loved ones and to the families of those that still serve.

"I am so proud of my son for his service to our country. I am proud of the man that he has become while missing the joys of seeing his son Conner grow up and the time he has had to spend away from his family," she said. "He is a man who has made leaps and bounds with his life. Terry knows no strangers and is a friend to everyone."

Roderick will have two days at home before he heads to Fort Riley where he will serve the remainder of his enlistment. Roderick hopes to be home for good by early summer.

For Robertson, his duty continues on weekends. These days, he is works two jobs and plans to return to college in the fall. He is described by friends and family as a very energetic, hardworking man with a big heart. While he was deployed, many of those family and friends sent prayers and well wishes for a safe return.

For his parents, Dan and Diane Robertson of Camdenton, the gestures of others while he was overseas are something they will never forget.

"We are saddened by the fact that so many young Americans have not and will not return home from these conflicts,” they said. We are very thankful to have our sons home again safe and sound. We are proud of our son for stepping up to serve his country."

Contact Editorial Director Joyce L. Miller at joyce.miller@lakesunonline.com.