Texas missionary back from typhoon disaster zone

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by JOBIN PANICKER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 9:16 AM

DALLAS — Cameron Johnson never expected his trip to the Philippines to turn out the way it did.

The 21-year-old from Frisco was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Tacloban, Philippines. That was the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, a storm that has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people.

"You couldn't walk on the street. You had to walk over debris and over houses and buildings and stores... and people," Johnson said.

His mom and dad, Connie and Steve, received very little news from the area, at one point going three days without any contact with their son.

When News 8 arrived at DFW International Airport Terminal E on Wednesday night, Johnson's parents were patiently — yet nervously — waiting.

"Do I hang back and let everyone else go first, so I can hug him last and longest?" said Connie, plotting how to receive her son when he walks through the airport terminal doors.

When Johnson did arrive, it was mom who first greeted him with a long hug and a kiss.

Johnson was among the first to help offer aid after the killer storm. He was airlifted by U.S. military to Manila after four days in the devastated Philippine city.

"He was put in a position to help, and he didn't hesitate," Steve Johnson said.

Cameron shared story after story about people he and his missionaries rushed to save. He even shared pictures with News 8 of the destruction.

"It's tough not being there, but this is where I need to be," Cameron Johnson said. "I'm so happy to be home!"

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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