|160 Black Hills Guardsmen are welcomed home|
|Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:07|
The family members gathered at the Young Center on the Black Hills State University campus were getting cell phone reports as the busses got closer to Spearfish. Friends and family had home-made signs ready for the moment their soldier stepped off the bus. This one takes a while to calculate. There were messages from little ones, and from patient mothers. Jen Morris says, "I'm just so glad he's finally back. It's finally real. It's happening."
And the soldiers said they were thrilled to be home. McKayla Canaday says, "It's been a while since I've held my son in my arms. I can't wait to be a mom again instead of just a soldier. It'll be a nice transition."
Lyle Griffith says, "It's a really good feeling. Long time coming. Been up quite a bit today, but now the adrenaline is flowing and the energy's running pretty high. So it feels really good to be back."
Larry Eisenbraun says, "It's just great to be home, just being with the family and getting to meet my grandchildren I haven't seen for a year."
Arthur Morris says, "It's awesome. I can't be happier to see my family again."
Once the soldiers had stepped off the busses and got re-acquainted with loved ones, a picnic for everybody involved was served up right next door in Lyle Hare Stadium. Then, a welcome home ceremony followed at the Young Center basketball auditorium. Altogether, 160 soldiers returned home to the Hills.
One parade in Spearfish Thursday evening had each returning soldier riding in a separate pickup donated just for the occasion by one of the local dealers. The 842nd has members in Belle Fourche, Whitewood, and Sturgis, and parades are planned for all those towns.
Al Van Zee