LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It was a homecoming celebration that was long over due.
"This puts the icing on the cake when you come home from something like this, so it means a lot," said Noe Aguilar, an infantry team leader.
"Luckily we brought everybody home, but a lot of units aren't quite that lucky," said Ssgt. Robert Dent. "I had a wonderful group of guys, absolutely great."
To East Texans, the soldiers are super star heroes and everyone wants their autograph.
"National Guard, we're just everyday Joes," said Ssgt. Kyle Cayce, a Carthage Texas soldier. "We have our civilian jobs and then we get called up and unfortunately we get called up a lot, but it's nice too feel loved."
"It's pretty overwhelming!" said Aguilar. "I [have] been waiting to get home. I hadn't seen my daughter in about eight months since she was born so I gotta a lot of catching up to do."
And, catching up with family isn't the only catch-up task for these soldiers.
"I'm already enrolled in Kilgore College," said Spc. Chris Brown of Hallsville. "I'm already late for school and I apologize to my instructors, but it happens...heavy traffic in Baghdad would be a good excuse I'd have to say."
A good excuse for these bonded soldiers...
"Being in Iraq isn't the best place to be, but you build bonds with guys that I'll have a family in the Army now with the guys from all over Texas the rest of my life," said Robert Dent of Kilgore.
Life time memories for them, and for Welcome Home Soldiers a long list of welcome celebrations.
"We've been swamped and it's wonderful!" said Rosalie Howerton, with Welcome Home Solider. "We love it! To me, this means we've had victory in Iraq! It means we've had victory in Iraq and the government's sending them home."
Home with their families where they belong.