TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department waited at the airport on Friday to welcome home a lieutenant who served our country overseas.
Travis Maus served a year-long deployment to Iraq.
He flew several hundred missions and went in and out of five different countries in the Middle East.
Maus is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.
His wife, friends and co-workers waited at Tampa International Airport to welcome him home.
Jessica Maus said her husband has made more sacrifices than her.
"My sacrifices are very little compared to his. I just gave up my husband, which is huge. He gave up his children, his wife, comforts. I saw my children every day. I ate what I wanted every day. I slept in my bed. He has not had any comforts or amenities in quite some time," said Jessica Maus.
Travis Maus said he was overwhelmed by the amount of people gathered at the airport.
"I am very humbled. I feel very honored by all of this," said Maus.
Police Chief Brian Dugan called Maus while he was away. He told him by phone he was being promoted to lieutenant. This is the first time in the history of the department that a promotion was made during a military deployment.
"You do it here, you keep the streets of Tampa safe and you've earned this promotion. Jessica, you've earned it just as well," said Chief Brian Dugan.
Maus said he has always wanted to serve his community and his country.
"It has always been a dream I had. I knew I wanted to be a pilot in the military. I didn't think I'd every have the opportunity to do both," said Maus.
Maus and his wife have three children. They plan to spend some quality time together this weekend.
He also joked he cannot wait for some good food.
"I can't wait to have a sandwich from Larry's Deli, First Choice BBQ in Brandon...that's another place. I want to go to Bern's, obviously, can't go wrong there. I'm super excited. I haven't had a good meal in a year. Definitely ready to come home to Tampa," said Maus.