SSgt. Ramiro Hurtado, 27, arrived at Oakland International Airport this evening.
Hurtado has been in Afghanistan since May on his third tour of duty in a war zone.
He says it is going well over there and seemed a bit surprised by the big welcome he received.
"I didn't know when I was coming back. I tried to tell them as soon as I got the word. I even changed when I did get the word. It's getting better; it's getting a lot better. Things are looking good up there and we're making a difference," says Hurtado.
Hurtado gets to spend two weeks at home, then he is back to Afghanistan to finish his tour.