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Utah soldiers who returned home from Iraq over the weekend enjoyed a special ceremony to recognize their sacrifices and service.
Family and friends gathered at Salt Lake International Airport Saturday for an emotional reunion with the 10 Utah Army Reserve soldiers who spent a year away from home. Monday the soldiers received an encased American flag among other things, as part of the "Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Award Program" held at Fort Douglas.
Staff Sgt. Brian White said, "It's an honor to receive this award. You know, I just went over to do my job. I'm glad there is so much support back home for all these soldiers that put their life on the line for this country."
The soldiers maintained living quarters, communication and security operations for troops at Camp Speicher, near Tikrit, in Iraq. The reservists put their civilian jobs on hold for more than a year to serve as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Preston Prieto said, "It's really exciting to be home. I missed my family and kids. But I was out there doing a great thing."
The Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Award Program was recently approved by Congress and President Bush. It gives special recognition to reserve soldiers called up to help in the war on terror.