NEVADA, MO.--- For United States Army Soldier Michael Stone, home is truly where the heart is.
"Its been a year since I have been here and seen any of my family," states Michael Stone, U.S. Army.
He just returned from serving in Afghanistan and has a lot to catch up on.
"My nephew, Yoriah, was born 8 weeks ago and I haven't seen him until now," states Michael.
Family members say they've missed Michael's cheerful personality, and somewhat surprised by his return.
"I didn't really know when he was going to get back in the states because he couldn't really tell us," states Debe Stone, Mother.
Although it was tough being without her son for so long, Debe says she always knew this day would come.
"I've known that he would go into the service. A lot of times when kids play with stuff like that they will outgrow it, but he never did. He was always service bound," states Debe.
Once back on his home turf, Michael says he wasted no time getting back to his favorite pastimes.
"I went to the mall a lot, and hung out with friends," states Michael.
Readjusting isn't all fun and games.
"I'm still paranoid. I didn't see a lot of stuff, but you are still on edge because you know that stuff can happen, you still have that fear in you," states Michael.
A fear Michael hopes will lessen as time passes. For now, this hometown hero is enjoying every moment with a renewed sense of appreciation.
"His older brother really told him many times, he's proud of him and he considers him a hero, and he will always say I'm not a hero I am just doing my job," states Debe.
"I get more than just money, I feel like I've done something," states Michael.
Michael comes from a service oriented family. His older brother served in the Marines and his grandfather served in the Air Force.