Local soldiers return home from Afghanistan
![click on photos below to enlarge]


Pictures by Nila Smith


Wal-Mart employees gather at the corner near Illini Bank, holding a "Welcome Home" sign for the soldiers.


A crowd gathers in front of the old Wal-Mart. Everyone has American flags to wave, and many are dressed in our nation's colors as well.


Supporters came in all ages. Here, at Postville Park, a crowd of young people gather to cheer for their heroes.

At the VFW, friends and family anxiously waited for the sound of sirens and the smiling faces that for 11 months they have seen only in pictures.


The banner over the front walkway at the VFW says it all.





As the city emergency vehicles pass by, transporting the four soldiers, the crowd applauds, children wave and flags fly high in a real VIP welcome home.





Several city officials were present for the homecoming. Pictured here, city council members Joni Tibbs, Ward 3, and David Wilmert, Ward 2, applaud as the motorcade passes by.

Inside the VFW, a cake is just one of many food items waiting for the soldiers. Decorated with red, white and blue next to camouflage and tanks, the cake says what everyone feels: "Welcome Home Soldiers."


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