875th Soldiers Celebrate Veterans Day

RECTOR, AR -- Ceremonies across the nation on Sunday honored those who have served in the military.  Special commemorations honoring veterans continued on Monday as the federal holiday is observed.

Several members of the 875th Engineer Battalion were at Monday's Veterans Day program in Rector.  Having just returned from living in a war zone for fifteen months, these soldiers truly know what it means to be a veteran.

"It's kind of a family.  Me, my dad, and my brother all went overseas for the first time so it means a lot to me now that I'm back," said SPC. Marcus Keller.

The soldiers got back home on September 29th after fifteen months in Iraq.

"It feels real good to be back home.  It's something that you can't explain.  Once you've been over there and you come home, it's something new," said Keller.

On Monday they participated in Rector's Veterans Day program, a program that in part celebrates their service.

"They've gone, they've done a job successfully, and they're back," said Bill Rabjohn.

Many say that now Veterans Day holds a different meaning for them.

"I've known about Veterans Day.  I've celebrated Veterans Day, but to me now I can really appreciate what veterans of previous wars have been through," said Wendy Forbs.

"Veterans Day to me now is knowing that when my kids and grandkids grow up I can tell them that I was a part of something with my dad and my brother and all of the many friends that I made overseas," said Keller.

"They've actually served.  They've put themselves in harms way and they're back.  They've got a more defined meaning of it," said Rabjohn.

And while they appreciate the day more, they also have more respect for older veterans.  But this is also allowing the kids in the audience to better understand the sacrifice.

"It's hard to get it across to the kids everyday in the classroom what these people did for us but here they're showing it by example," said Rabjohn.