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Owosso welcomes back a hometown hero

(J. Scott Applewhite | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Honking, cheering and flag waving. That was the scene in Owosso Wednesday afternoon as the community welcomed home a soldier from the Middle East.

“It made me feel very happy,” he said. “I did not expect this!”

Owosso’s Emerson Thayer has been serving in the Army oversees for the past nine months, but he didn’t get to go straight home when his tour ended. Before soldiers are permitted to return from deployment, they have to go through a process called ‘demobilization,’ where the military makes sure they are healthy and financially prepared to re-enter life back home.

“They do a good job doing that,” Thayer said. “But, it can be stressful at some point because you’re so close to getting home. You just want to come back to your family.”

Mark Agnew was among those welcoming Emerson home.

Agnew said, “These guys go out there and defend our freedoms. I’m grateful for it. I’m a veteran and I know what they go through.”

Agnew says events like these are important because he believes every soldier deserves a hero’s welcome.

“What these guys do and the sacrifices they make with their families, sometimes more, what they do for us I think goes unnoticed,” Agnew said. “So, we have to respect them. We have to say, ‘welcome home’.”

After a long travel, Thayer says he’s ready to get a good night’s sleep with the one’s he loves most.

Thayer said, “I’m excited to sleep in my own bed tonight. Sleep with my dog and my wife. I’m just very excited for that.”

Thayer said he wishes his brothers and sisters in arms well, and prays for them to stay safe.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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