Soldier returns home from Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldier returns home from Iraq

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March 16, 2007

Albany -- A former Westover High School and Albany State University star athlete returns home after serving a year-long tour of duty in Iraq.

After training Iraqi medics and working border patrol, 30-year-old Eric Teemer is now spending down time with his loved ones.

Army Sergeant Eric Teemer says his experience overseas has taught him many lessons, including patience. He worked hard serving and waited an entire year to do what he's doing now, spending time with family and his seven-year-old son E. J.

For the next week and a half Eric Teemer will enjoy goofing around with his twin brother Derrick, playing ball with his son E. J., and simply sitting back to relax. The army sergeant spent a long-year securing borders between Iraq and Iran, even training Iraqi military medics.

"I was giving a medical class and I let some of the guys practice on me," said Eric Teemer.

He faced many challenges while doing so.

"It was real frustrating. You had to be patient, had to be understanding. Had to be very understanding," said Army Sergeant Eric Teemer.

An understanding his family back home gained as well.

"I am. I am proud of him," said Thelma Teemer.

Mother Thelma Teemer says though she and Eric were miles apart, their bond stayed strong.

"When he was in that down mode and I knew something was wrong, and I would tell him Eric think about where you came from, think about the Lord," said Thelma Teemer.

She trusts one thing got her through when her son was gone.

"God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble," said Thelma Teemer.

And it's that very same faith that helped Eric as well. He comes away feeling proud of his work. He says he's seen improvements to the economic status and living conditions of the Iraqi people.

"Just their whole mentality of how to run their own country, we're definitely making progress on that," said Eric Teemer.

Progress that makes a family back home proud. Something that makes a soldier's time overseas, well worth the wait.

Eric has served in the army for six years now and is currently stationed in Texas.

He says the US must press on in Iraq, even with a controversial troop surge. He says more troops will make even more of a difference.

President Bush's troop surge is said to be growing. General Petraeus reportedly has asked for up to 3,000 more troops. Those troops may come from Fort Stewart.

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