Valley View Students Help Welcome a Soldier Home

JONESBORO, AR -- The bulk of the soldiers with the 875th Engineer Battalion came home at the end of September, now one more soldier has made it back home to his family.

Sgt. Mark Frank has been home for about a week and on Monday he had planned to have lunch with his daughter but was surprised by the students instead.

"He's coming home and all the other 875h members got to have the big parade when they came home and so we're giving him that," said fourth grader Drew Roberson.

"It's really cool because he wasn't here for the big old celebration for the others and its kind of like a celebration for him," said Frank's son Nathaniel Frank.

"Most of us, we made signs to say 'welcome home' or we said 'thank you'," said Maryjohn Richmond.

When the other soldiers came home last month, Frank was sick. Last week, he finally made it home.

"I was a little surprised.  It's not something you're used to.  It was a great experience to see all the kids out there," said Sgt. Mark Frank.

"We kept telling him, we have a secret for him when he comes and he's been trying to get us to tell him what the secret was," said Frank's daughter Meagan Frank.

Like many in Region 8, the kids at Valley View Intermediate have supported the soldiers since they've been gone, even wearing yellow ribbons as they welcome another back home.  Frank said there are even more soldiers that haven't made it back home.

"I know we still have soldiers that are still out that hopefully will be home soon that still deserve a lot.  Especially what we call our wounded soldiers," said Frank.