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National Guard Awards West Tennessee Troops

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn .- Officials honored nearly 400 Tennessee National Guardsmen for their bravery oversees, Saturday.

West Tennessee soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard's 230th Engineer Battalion in Trenton, and the 913th Engineer Company in Union City gathered in Martin, Tennessee for a freedom salute at the First Baptist Church.

Officials said the units returned home in August after a year's deployment.

Each soldier was presented with a cased American flag, ceremonial coin, and a medallion and lapel pin.

Guardsmen told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the ceremony boosted their morale after a year of sacrifices.

"When you are overseas and you're away from your family for a year, it kind of drags you down," said soldier Richard Glisson. "It's nice to know that people in the communities do appreciate what we do."

Glisson's wife, Melissa Glenn, also serves in the National Guard, and said she believes the accomplishments and hardships in military life are great for every family in the service.

"A lot of like sadness during the holidays and then you have cranky dads that get upset when you don't write them, just a lot of missing and sadness," said Glenn. "You do your best to try and make it."

Vietnam Veteran Chuck Glenn, who has four children active in the military, said when a soldier serves, their family serves too.

"A lot of times you're cut off, don't get mail for a while, of course you can't get phone calls," said Chuck Glenn. "They got to take care of family by themselves, they got to take care of the mortgage, put food on the table and be mommy and daddy for their children."

Each soldier was recognized for their accomplishments. Family members said they are just glad their loved ones made it home safely.

"They need to know that they are being honored not just today but everyday, " said Dolores Starnes.

Officials said more than 27,000 Tennessee Army and National Guardsmen have been deployed since September 11, 2009.

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