RALEIGH – Soldiers returning from the front lines of war are honored in North Carolina Tuesday.
Army reserve soldiers who deployed to Iraq for nine months were saluted in a “Welcome Home Warrior Citizen” ceremony.
Through the celebration of their return, there was a solemn reminder of the sacrifice made by those serving.
Spec. Tyrone Guzman is back from war, happy to be reunited with his wife and daughters
“It's a sense of pride knowing that I'm doing something for my country and something that my family is going to look up to me for,” said Guzman.
He and these other army reserve soldiers from the 805th Military Police Company were presented with an encased American flag after a nine-month deployment to Iraq.
These soldiers are the last military police company to leave Iraq, but this unit did not return the way it left.
The state legislature honored the unit including Spec. Daniel Lucas Elliott, born in Raleigh,.killed in Iraq three days before his 22nd birthday.
“The fact they would honor Lucas's service means the world to me it means he did not die in vain,” said his mother, Patti Elliott.
Guzman was Elliot's bunkmate.
“He was a great soldier, a great person, even more than a soldier, and the world is going to be a lesser place without him,” said Guzman.
Despite the inherent risk that comes with military service, 10 new soldiers enlist during the ceremony, knowing they may go into harm's way at any point.
“I look forward to serving many more years with them,” said Guzman.
“We need them and we need the support of people back home to honor their service,” said Elliott.
Through the congratulations, appreciation and handshakes from those returning,.you'll see another embrace, a hug from a mourning mother: A stark reminder of the real sacrifice these soldiers embrace to serve their country.
The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve agency also recognized area employers who employ soldiers from the 805th Military Police Company and thanked them for the sacrifice their companies made while those soldiers deployed.