GREEN BAY, WI – After almost a year in Afghanistan, friends and family greet the men and women from the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion with open arms this morning in Green Bay.
And emotions ran high for one family, whose son couldn't make the ceremony.
One hundred soldiers and their families were honored. The group left Green Bay in March 2011 and trained at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, before starting their mission in Afghanistan.
"It's tough because you have to catch up with everything that happened while you were gone,” said Kristin Dodds, who is returning home.
Husbands, wives, sons and daughters are all reconnecting with their families after months overseas.
"Just be with my son and with my family members is just a great thing to be able to come home and just enjoy this again," said Joel Graham with the 432nd.
Many political leaders expressed their thanks to the servicemen.
"There’s a lot of pride,” said Rep. Andre Jacque. “There's a lot of pride and there's just the sense of happiness and relief to have them back integrated in the community."
Soldiers who were deployed for the first time received keepsakes for their service, including a flag, pins and coin of excellence.
But, the 432nd was missing one of their own. Sgt. Adam Alexander was shot in the head in November during the deployment. His family attended the welcome home ceremony for him.
"It good to see them all here and reconnected with them. But, it another way, it's bittersweet because we want that moment with Adam,” said Mary-Kay Alexander, Adam’s mother.
Sgt. Alexander is currently at Walter Reed. His mom said they hope to see him discharged by the fall.