Philadelphia neighborhood welcomes home Army specialist who served in Afghanistan

The young veteran's neighborhood wanted to give him a huge thank you recognition.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Monday, August 30, 2021
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Philadelphia neighborhood welcomes home army specialist who served in Afghanistan

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The smiling faces and signs that said 'welcome home' was nearly overwhelming for U.S. Army specialist Brandon Silva.

Home is a place the 23-year-old feels fortunate to be.

"If I was still in, I probably would have been over there, but I didn't think all that stuff was going to happen when I got out," said Silva, who spent nine months in Afghanistan. "I feel like sometimes everything I did over there was just pointless or worthless. But I can't think like that because there are people that are not here today, and there are people who are not here today who made sure I'm here today."

The news of the 13 service members killed this week is hitting him particularly hard.

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"I don't want to see another family lose someone they care about," he said.

While Silva's tour in Afghanistan ended about a year ago, he still has friends he served with over there fighting. More than ever, he says he worries about their safety.

"Every day was: what could happen, what is the worst-case scenario?" said his father, Candido Silva, who worried while Brandon was overseas.

Now, officially home after spending the last year in Fort Bragg and being honorably discharged, the young veteran's neighborhood wanted to give him a huge thank you recognition.

They gathered near Pennypack Park where they welcomed him with a crowd of fellow veterans, police, and firefighters.

Silva hopes the same will be done for his friends soon, too.

"I just want to see our troops come home. That's just me personally," he said.