MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - At the Greenville armory in Butler County family and friends waited with anticipation and with joy. After working in the harsh environment in Afghanistan where soldiers built schools and orphanages, the troops finally made it home in style.
Two comfortable buses rolled in bringing home more than 40 members of the 877th Engineering Battalion, feet on the ground at home for the first time since leaving a year ago.
Mary Braden, for one, didn't have to show up because she didn't have any relatives coming home. Still, Braden just felt the need to be part of the celebration.
"They've given up their time and possibly their lives," said Braden.
As a mother Kim Moore of Montgomery had the worries of having not one but two sons deployed.
"I have another son who just came back Kuwait. He comes home next Saturday. We'll have a big celebration when both boys are home," said Moore.
Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon gave a brief welcome and then the soldiers heard the word they had been waiting to hear since last May.
"DIMISSED," the group leader yelled out.
"I can't wait to see my little girl and my fiancee," said a soldier.
Another one added "I've been missing everybody. It's good to be home."
Home, safe and sound and sealed with hugs and kisses.
The Alabama National Guard has sent around 13,000 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan which makes the state among the top five in the country.
Other Alabama cities welcoming home troops are Hamilton, Jasper, Fayette and Northport.