Friends of a local solider fighting in Iraq are celebrating this weekend. The Coweta native surprised his old classmates when he showed up at his high school reunion.
The News On 6's Jeffrey Smith reports Beau Bradshaw made it in the nick of time.
It was a trip that included seven airports, four countries, three planes and 23 hours, a long journey for Bradshaw.
He says it was all worth it, to see the look of shock on the faces of friends he hasn't seen in 10 years.
Beau Bradshaw is loving Green Country life.
"It's good to see grass. It's good to see clouds. It's the smell. Everything about being home is great. Unless you've been to Iraq and understand what it's like over there, it's the atmosphere that you really miss," said Bradshaw.
The Coweta graduate has been in Iraq for the last four months. A last minute deal allowed Bradshaw to switch his leave so he could come stateside for his 10th year reunion.
"I have really good friends that I haven't seen in 10 years. So it's been really enjoyable getting to see everybody," said Bradshaw.
And Bradshaw's got a lot of filling-in to do.
"I mean, it's 140 degrees, but it's 140 degrees, and I know this sounds stupid, but it's dry," said Bradshaw.
Getting there was quite a journey. Iraq to Kuwait to Ireland to Atlanta to Dallas to Tulsa.
"It was roughly 23 hours of total travel time," said Bradshaw.
He arrived Friday night, just in time for the reunion dinner.
"I got stuck there overnight and that was pretty much like, ‘well, I'm not going to make it back.' So I'm stuck in Kuwait," said Bradshaw.
Bradshaw's got two weeks to hang out with his buddies.
"I've got a nephew that was born in July, that I've basically seen for 19 days since he's been born," said Bradshaw.
And spend quality time with his family, but touching down just hours before his reunion is a trip he'll never forget.
Bradshaw says it's bittersweet because he's got to be back in Iraq in two weeks and now that he's catching up with friends, it'll be hard to leave them once again.
Until then, he says he has no formal plans he just wants to have fun each and every day.