LA GRANGE – From September 2010 to April 2011, Arthur Gonzalez was part of a Marine police adviser team that helped train Afghan National Police in Sangin, Afghanistan.
For his family, it was a tough six months.
“When he was in Afghanistan, it was just heart-wrenching. It was very difficult,” said Adriana Gonzalez, his sister. “We would send letters and care packages as much as we could. It was really delayed to hear a response.”
Arthur Gonzalez has been stateside since returning from Afghanistan in April 2011, but Saturday, he came home for good. His family members cleared their schedules and got together for a welcome home party.
During her brother’s stint in Afghanistan, Adriana Gonzalez said the family would hear from him about once a month. But they continued to send him things even if he couldn’t respond.
The La Grange native said coming back to the U.S. was an easy adjustment, and he’s looking forward to being with his family on a regular basis.
“I’m going to take a little time off and then try college in January,” he said. “Right now I’m a little open [on what to study]. I’ve got some time before that.”
For his work in Afghanistan, Gonzalez was awarded the Afghan Campaign Medal, Navy Unit Commendation and Combat Action Ribbon.