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WELCOME HOME TO WISCONSIN

Returning service members receive a warm welcome from a caring community

After a long deployment, nothing compares to a warm welcome from a caring community. Thanks to VFW Post 10262 in Plover, Wis., Battery B, 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery was greeted with open arms.

“Being a veteran myself, and having three sons who are also in the military, it made me proud and humble to be on hand to welcome these soldiers,” said Ken Bachmann, VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP) Coordinator at Post 10262.

The ceremony, held at the Stevens Point Airport, began when the soldiers passed through a corridor of American flags held by volunteers and VFW members.

“We wanted to give them a heartwarming welcome home ceremony with all the bells and whistles,” said Bachmann, “But we wanted to keep the speeches short and to the point as to give the soldiers more time to be with family.”

Speakers at the event included a representative from Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold’s office and the Mayor of Stevens Point, Andrew Halverson.

Following the short ceremony, families were invited to enjoy drinks, cake and cookies, covered in part by a MAP grant.

“Over 1,200 people attended, and the response was very positive,” said Bachmann. “There was a great outpouring of emotions as the soldiers marched in.”

Bachmann is grateful to the numerous community and VFW volunteers who made it all possible.

“I’m thankful to all who assisted our Post in showing our support of this unit,” said Bachmann. "Our goal was fulfilled and the soldiers and families greatly appreciated all that was done in their honor.”

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