College Station Soldier Returns Home to Finish School

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Arms were open wide as friends and family welcomed home Sgt. Joshua Hollinger. He spent 11 months in Iraq as a medic.

"I have to admit, when I joined originally it was for a lot of college benefits, that sort of thing, but by the time you're through with training you have a better idea of why you're really there, your ideas change, you see what it's really about, it's not about what you can get but what you can give," said Hollinger.

Hollinger gave more than just service to his country, he gave others a chance to stay home. Hollinger volunteered to go to Iraq so a fellow soldier could watch over his wife and kids and also so another soldier could finish nursing school.

"I was like well between all of these guys, I think I'm the most free, so I went ahead and bit the bullet for that one," said Hollinger.

"I think it's very brave of him, oh...yeah very proud, his mom and dad are too," said Hollinger's aunt Phyllis Pope.

Hollinger may have felt he was the best choice to go, but he had to give up school to do it. Now that he's back he's ready to finish his degree in bio-environmental science.

However, he'll never forget his time helping the people of Iraq.

"There's a lot of mistrust with government specifically the military so a lot of them are sort of standoffish, but when they can get past that, they're very friendly and generous people," said Hollinger.

He said the toughest part about his return home is the adjustment to normal life, a life of hitting the books once again.