Army Staff Sgt. Chris McGraw had a hero's welcome as he returned home to Huron.
Family and friends gathered at the Sand Bar, 54 McKinley St., Saturday night to celebrate McGraw's return from serving in Iraq.
"He's a hero -- all the boys and girls over there are heroes," said Jim Wilson of Willard, McGraw's uncle.
Huron High school alum Chris McGraw, a 30-year-old staff sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division, was injured in January during his third tour in Iraq. McGraw had injuries to his left shoulder and right arm assessed at a military hospital in Germany before being transferred to a military hospital in the United States.
"I'm feeling really good," McGraw said Saturday night. He'll be home until Thursday, then it's back to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Whether he'll head back to the Middle East depends on how quickly he heals, McGraw said.
Chris McGraw's youngest brother, Kevin McGraw, 23, a Sandusky firefighter, said it's been wonderful having his brother home.
"Unfortunately it has to come under these circumstances," Kevin McGraw said.
Another brother, Eric McGraw, 28, teaches at university in China but was able to come home. All three brothers were at Sand Bar Saturday night celebrating with their family and friends.
"We're very proud of him," said John McGraw of Huron, Chris McGraw's grandfather.
His grandmother, Carolyn McGraw, said it's hard for her to talk about her grandson without crying.
"We're so happy and so proud of him," she said. "We love him so very much."
The night outside was dark and cold but inside the Sand Bar was a bright warmth lit by the smiles of those happy to see Chris McGraw at home. Not a parking spot could be found near the Sand Bar that night.
Brian McGraw, Chris McGraw's father, said the community has been wonderful to his family.
"The support has been great," Brian McGraw said.