For some, joining the ranks of the U.S. Army was a lifelong dream.
"It's something I've been wanting to do since I was a child," said Spc. Ivan Llorente.
That dream has become a reality. Fourteen soldiers are back after spending time overseas -- away from family, friends and most things familiar.
"You realize how much more you have while you're here in the states than other people have in other countries," said Llorente.
"We are so proud of our soldiers and what they've done for our country," said Max Oleson, an Army Reserve Ambassador. "We think it's the least we can do to recognize the service they've performed."
Each receives an award -- a token of appreciation for their service.
"We're celebrating the soldier's hard work and effort from their down range tour and we do want to recognize that," said Maj. Sonya Heinrich.
The group represents the 376th Financial Management Company. Their most recent deployment was to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
"They've worked hard," said Oleson. "They've put their lives at risk, day in and day out."
Because whether on the front lines -- or somewhere else -- the men and women have done their part to keep our country safe.
"Every job is very critical and every soldier does take it very seriously," said Heinrich.
"It's very humbling to know that so many people care about you," said Llorente. "They all just want to take care of you and make sure you're alright. They're so proud of you."
It was a successful weekend hunt for numerous area kids who bagged their very first deer.
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