After a yearlong deployment, 160 soldiers from the 842nd Engineer Company of the South Dakota National Guard, finally return home to a day full of celebrations.
"It was pretty big, it was more then what I was expecting," said Specialist Mark Witt.
This was specialist Witt's first deployment.
He says he was prepared for the work overseas but found other parts of his deployment difficult.
"That was probably the hardest part of my deployment, being away from my family," said Witt.
Especially his 8 year old daughter Atlantis.
"I missed him," said Atlantis.
Throughout the day family, friends, and the community gathered to celebrate and honor the work soldiers did overseas.
"We just take advantage of a day like today, when they come back to say thank you and tell them how much we appreciate them and appreciate their service," said South Dakota Senator John Thune.
Their service included teaming up with three international armies; the German, Norwegian, and Polish Army; to build and repair roads among many other jobs.
"Normally we'd wake up early, around 5-6 o'clock and go to work around 7. Some days you got off around 4-5 o'clock, and other days you'd work into the next day, it would depend on the work," said Witt.
In all the value of their work during the year long deployment totaled more than 21 million US dollars.
Now that the work is done, Witt's wife Mina says she's relieved to have him home.
"It was emotional, it was intense, you can't prepare for the deployment and you can't prepare for them coming home," said Mina Witt.
And like all the soldiers families, they are ready to get back to family life.
"I can't wait to catch up on all that I've missed," said Witt.
This is the second time the 842nd has been activated in the past 10 years.
The last deployment was in support of "Operation Iraqi Freedom".