It isn't 4th of July quite yet, but people in Wisconsin are very patriotic today. 3,200 members of the Red Arrow Brigade received a major welcome in Stevens Point.
People from all over the state gathered for the "Back From The Sand" Celebration. The parade was to honor members of the Red Arrow Infantry Brigade. Many of the soldiers are from Central Wisconsin, including Marathon County.
The soldiers served in Iraq for a year and most units returned this past January. The men and women of the Wisconsin National Guard are thrilled to be home, and are especially excited to receive such a large welcoming.
Jace Pippin is an infantryman. He was especially surprised by the parade. He says, "I didn't think it was going to be as big, especially because some people are anti-war in the Madison area. But the community really turned around as soon as we left the community really helped us out."
Soldiers in the 32nd Brigade came from 36 different Wisconsin communities. They performed a variety of missions in Iraq including base defense, area security, and quick reaction forces.
This was the largest deployment of troops from Wisconsin since World War II. After the parade, people gathered for a recognition ceremony. The party continued all day with music and food for soldiers and their families.
The Brigade Soldiers paraded across Stevens Point on second street and ended at Pioneer Park.
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Posted: 12/06/2013 - They're our nation's bravest, standing side by side to protect and defend our country. Now, they're standing side by side to help each other celebrate the holidays.