Utah sailor returns home after third tour in Afghanistan

Posted at 4:27 PM, Aug 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-03 20:01:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A sailor returning from his mission in Afghanistan was not only welcomed home by his family, but by his whole neighborhood in Millcreek on Friday.

Navy Lt. Commander Jody Greene was overseas serving his third tour in Afghanistan. The last tour was his most dangerous, working on the ground, often near dangerous territory. 

His three boys remember how sad they were when they said goodbye. Now they plan to drag him to all the big events he missed last year.

"Sometimes I'd be doing really good in my baseball and I wish he would be here to watch me," said Greene's son Ethan.

Greene says for the past year abroad he would just push himself to do his job and try not to dwell on his life and family left behind in Utah.

"It's difficult to put them out of your mind. That's one of the first things you thinking about especially when you're outside the wire working with everybody, but  you know, you separate it sometimes and you keep them close to your heart and that's what I did," said Greene.

Greene was advising Afghan police and military personnel in Afghanistan's Gosni province.

"It's amazing that he's done that. We're very proud of him and grateful that we live in this land where guys like him are making these freedoms possible," said his wife Tia Greene.

The military father is a man of few words, but one who has good friends.

His neighbors decked out the whole block to Greene's surprise.

"I was wondering what holiday it was," says Greene.

This last tour Greene came away with the Bronze Star. But Greene remains humble and does not go into the details.

"Just doing my job," Greene says.

For a wife who has been waiting and raising the children, it has been hard. But she she feels like the sacrifice was for a bigger picture.

"It's been busy, it's been hard, but definitely a new appreciation for the sacrifice of our country," said Tia.