WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Soldiers Receive 'Welcome Home' Celebration

By: Sean Towle
By: Sean Towle

A month ago members of the 128th Battalion Charlie Company returned home after a year in Iraq.
Sunday night at the La Crosse Center many of those soldiers and their families and friends gathered to celebrate their return home and pay tribute to friends they lost in Iraq.
It was an emotional night for soldiers and their families.
Hundreds of people came to celebrate the return home of the Arcadia and Neillsville-based units.
The 6-hour event included food, videos and speeches from many local politicians who came out to pay tribute to the work the soldiers put in over the past year.
"It's great to be home and see all the support from the community out here tonight," Specialist Travis Fischer said.
"These men and women have been doing great things for us and we owe them for what they do they can never be repaid," Rep. Ron Kind said.
Even with all the politicans, the most popular speaker was Nancy Olson, whose husband Staff Sergeant Todd Olson was killed late last year while in Iraq.
She and the family of Specialist Charles Kaufman received a memorial, but Olson's speech earned a standing ovation.
"I would watch on T.V. and see that Todd was in each one of you. He valued god, family and country. Whatever it is you do I want you to make sure you take that part of Todd with you forever," Olson said to the crowd.
The event lasted until 11 in the evening.
Even after spending all that time in iraq together, the soldiers who came out to the party tonight were still very excited to see each other and share stories since their recent return home.


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