A Turkish soldier patrols the area near the Turkey-Iraq border, in the province of Sirnak, southeast Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007. Turkey's top military commander has promised to make Iraq-based Kurdish rebels "grieve with an intensity that they cannot imagine," while the prime minister said his nation would fight "when needed," regardless of international pressure. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - This day, September 11th, is not short on meaning, and for the group gathered to welcome home Kentucky soldiers only makes it even more memorable.
"It just gives me a great sense of pride in that I'm able to serve my country and represent those that were lost in that incident," said Specialist Logan Brumit, of the 176th Engineer Firefighting Team.
This was the same day last year when this seven man team had to leave their homes for the battlefields in Afghanistan. Although, these men say they are finding even more value in this anniversary.
"We are firefighters as well as military so with this day being associated with both groups, you feel very honored to once leave a year ago today and come home on the September 11th, as well," explained Sgt. Seth Frost.
These firefighters served on an airfield overseas, as well as in several forward operating bases, but that wasn't all, they also took time to train Afghani fire departments.
Still, they weren't spared from the dangers of war. Spc. Brumit explained how the violence began picking up before their return home.
"There's always that danger and it's good to stay vigilant but we were fortunate to be in a fairly peaceful area of the country."
While they are half-a-world away from the fighting, they still think of their brothers and sisters still serving, but on this day they won't deny they are excited to be home.
"You can set aside all of those bad memories and now this can be a day you look forward to in the future," said Brig. General Mike Richie from the podium.
"Being gone for a year is a long time and there's a lot of things that you miss. You start coming home, you start recognizing those little things that you know that you're home," explained Sgt. Frost.
After all, home is what they've been serving to protect.
Since the attacks 11 years ago, the Kentucky National Guard have sent more than 14,000 soldiers and airmen to serve over seas in the Global War on Terror.
Enter your number for a chance to win great prizes!
Message and data rates may apply