The long-awaited reunion with colleagues at Hephzibah Fire & Rescue, he said, was further sweetened by the news that Osama bin Laden was dead.
Although eliminating the world's most wanted terrorist was always a key goal, it wasn't the only one.
"It's one piece of picture," said Heyward, a sergeant with the 319th Transportation Company. "But there is still a lot more to it."
The recent tour to Iraq was the second one for Heyward, whose unit helped haul fuel and other supplies for the military effort. Although another tour is always possible, he hopes to be home with family and friends for the immediate future.
"Hopefully I'm done for a while," he said. "But you never know."