“All he wants is to come back with all his pieces and survive this war. And he wants his platoon to come back. That’s why I ask people to pray for my son, and pray for all the men. I ask them to pray for a safe return for all of them,” said Tyrell Cornwell of Luling in an exclusive interview with the Herald-Guide in November 2006.
And her prayers have been answered.
On Jan. 13 her son, U.S. Army Sgt. John Cornwell IV, made the long trip home to Louisiana.
“When I stepped off the plane all I could think was ‘I am free,’” said John.
“And when I was seconds away from my house, I felt nervous but was excited when I saw all my friends and family waiting for me. It was good to be home.”
John’s homecoming was one to remember - especially after his mother handed him the most-wanted prize in Louisiana - a ticket to the Saints’ playoff game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
And after visiting with everyone, John was whisked away to watch his home team play.
“Of all the games this season, John made it home just in time for one of the best,” said Tyrell.
Although John’s return home was a safe and joyous one, he will never forget his most hellish experience in the Middle East.
“On Feb. 14, 2005 my convoy’s truck was hit by an explosive in Baghdad,” recalled John.
“My squad leader’s leg was severed, the driver got shrapnel in his neck and the gunman got hit with shrapnel in the leg.
“That was the most traumatic experience for me - to see my friends get hurt,” said John.
But not every situation for John in Iraq was a hard one to endure.
“My squad did do some humanitarian work, and one of the sweetest moments I remember was passing out school supplies to children,” said John.
“The kids were thankful and grateful to us.”
Now that he is home, John will never have to face the daily horrors of the war on Iraq.
His contract with the Army is up in April and he has chosen not to re-enlist.
John says his mother was able to cope with his service in Iraq because she is strong, but does have a bit of advice for mothers who still have children serving in the war.
“To all the mothers who have sons and daughters in Iraq - keep in contact with them,” says John.
“Call them as much as you can and send letters and cards. It really makes a difference.”
John also urges everyone who prays to continue praying for the safe return of our men and women on duty in the Middle East.
|Mom Tyrell is so thrilled to have her son home that she gave him her coveted pair of Saints playoff tickets. Things got even better for John when the boys in black clipped the Phiadelphia Eagles in the Superdome.|