Published: May 23, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: May 24, 2014 1:01 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fl.a.,- Southwest Florida went all out to surprise a soldier! His family and complete strangers greeted the soldier at Southwest Florida International Airport.

The miles from here to Afghanistan that stood between Specialist William Boaz and his family are longer an obstacle. A community has been anticipating his arrival for a while now, but this soldier wasn't expecting to come home to the welcome he came home to.

A young soldier, just 21, who was overcome with emotion after spending months overseas fighting for our country, Specialist Boaz is finally home! The Southwest Florida community made sure his bravery and time in Afghanistan did not go unnoticed. With flags in hand, they were here on the front line to honor, salute and simply thank Specialist Boaz for his dedication to our country. He returns home with many honors and medals, such as the Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Specialist Boaz spent nine months overseas. He is home for three weeks.

WINK News would like to thank all service men and women for their service to our country.