Hometown heroes ceremony honors airmen overseas - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hometown heroes ceremony honors airmen overseas

Airmen were honored Sunday in the Hometown Heroes ceremony. Airmen were honored Sunday in the Hometown Heroes ceremony.

Airmen who have returned from serving overseas, and across the country, were given a special honor at the Combat Readiness Training Center, or C.R.T.C. base Sunday morning.

The hometown heroes ceremony recognizes airmen that have been deployed for 30 or more days.

This was the first ceremony that the base has held since 2001.

It wasn't just for the servicemen. It was also for their families.

For families like the Collins, the day was long overdue.

"It means a lot to know that he's getting recognized for the job he did across the pond," said 14-year-old Katie Collins whose father is in the Air National Guard.

Master Sergeant Mark Collins, better known by Katie Collins as "Dad," was not only deployed years ago, but he's about to go overseas, again, for five years.

"I'm proud of you and I love you," said Katie Collins.

For Master Sergeant Brian Davis, who has four young children, this gives them a chance to see how he served.

"Thank you, Dad, for coming home and I thank you for everything you've done for us," said 9-year-old Landen Davis.

Master Sergeant Jeremy Coleman has been deployed twice.

He didn't have family in the crowd, but that didn't take away from the honor.

"It's great, we don't do it for the accolades, but just getting recognized is awesome," said Sergeant Coleman.

Colonel John Ladner, the head of the ceremony, said the day was just a token of gratitude for what the men and women have sacrificed.

"There's no way that just a plaque or dog tag can honor them appropriately, but it is recognition," said Colonel Ladner.

As each hug was given and hand was shaken, they said they'd do it all again.

"The price of freedom isn't free. So whatever it takes to serve and protect," said Sergeant Coleman.

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