CLEVELAND -- Amid cheers, tears, and hugs, Staff Sergeant Dan Shaw returned home from his 4th tour of duty in Afghanistan, to a hero's welcome at Cleveland Hopkins Airport from family members -- and strangers too.
"Oh, Thank you!" said Shaw, to a little boy waving an American flag, who held up a welcome home poster.
"It was just great to touch ground in Cleveland, and know that my family and friends know that I'm home," he said.
The first person to greet him was his wife, Lindsay. TSA officials gave her special permission to meet him at the gate where his plane arrived.
"It's so hard to describe the moment," said Lindsay Shaw. "I've been waiting 311 days, to be exact, for him to come home."
And just in time for Thanksgiving. "It just makes it mean so much more," she said.
Shaw, an Army Reservist from the 447th Military Police Company in Canton, spent the last 10 months helping to train Afghan forces, as part of the U.S. goal of transferring sercurity to the Afghan people.
But recent insider attacks that have killed dozens of coalition troops - were a real danger for Shaw.
"It's just my job. And I just focused on what I was trained to do," he said.
Shaw spent 16 years with the military, and 12 years as an officer with the Mentor Police Department. Though he knows the job of his comrades back in Afghanistan is not done, he says he's confident that the training will continue, so that more soldiers like him, can come home.
But just as his tour of duty ends -- his other job awaits. A Mentor Police cruiser served as an escort for Shaw's ride home to Painesville.
Because a hero's job is never done.
"Whether it's the military, or Mentor Police - when you get the call, you're there," he said.