The 955th Engineers Company returned home to a warm welcome at the Cape Girardeau VFW Friday morning.
Family and friends were there around 4 a.m. waiting for the twelve soldiers to return home from a year of service in Afghanistan.
The soldiers arrived around 4:30 a.m. with a police escort from Cape Girardeau police crews.
Organizers only had about two day's notice to prepare for the soldiers' return, but Deb Griffin, events coordinator with the VFW, says they were very excited to provide a place to welcome the soldiers back home.
"It's very moving here for us as well. We understand how the families feel and it's very nice to be able to welcome them home," said Griffin.
Griffin added that the homecomings for soldiers have changed so much over the years from WWII to the Vietnam War and to present day. She said whether the group of soldiers returning is large or small, they still want to make it a very special occasion.
Anthony Schoemaker was welcomed home by his wife, Katlyn.
"It felt like a mountain fell off my shoulders. You know, it's over," said Anthony Schoemaker.
Katlyn Schoemaker said she was overjoyed to see her husband for the first time in a year. "It couldn't get here fast enough. I almost started crying when I finally saw him pull up."
The soldiers were from several different areas of the Heartland, but had picked the VFW in Cape Girardeau as a safe, collective place for their family and friends to welcome them back.
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