Celebrating the troops who have returned home

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Troops from the South Dakota National guard returned in September and Sunday their family, friends, and government officials joined together to show their gratitude towards them.

State and city officials joined family and friends of military members to welcome them home.

"You know they got your back you can go forward and do your job knowing that everyone is behind you and supporting you and really the entire community," says First Sergeant Michael Martin.

Ninety-one troops from South Dakota left just before the holidays last year for deployment to the middle east and they finally get to celebrate as one unit

"I think your goal as a leader is always to come home with the same number of people that you left with so to have all my soldiers sitting in the audience after this as were at the beginning, I couldn't ask for more than that. It's a great Christmas present," says Major Anthony Timanus.

"We missed the last holidays and this just makes it all the more special because we're going to be together on this one. So in that sense it worked out pretty good," says Martin.

While everyone is glad to have their loved ones home for the holidays it can be difficult to readjust to home life so the military has a program in place called "Yellow Ribbon" to provide resources for military families so they can adjust.

"Twelve hours of meetings where different organizations came in and talked to us and showed us what resources are available, how we get in contact with them who we can talk to and there's a lot of assistance," Timanus says.

Without those resources and support from family and officials, troops say the job would be much harder.

"It's already difficult enough and to have support of folks in the community and the government in what we did just makes the transition that much easier. We're very grateful," says Timanus .