The community gathered at Secrest Auditorium in Zanesville Sunday to recognize members of the Ohio National Guard in their Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 42 Airmen from the 220th Engineering Installation Squadron returned home from a 6 month tour of Afghanistan in May. Today served as a formal recognition of both their sacrifices and the ones of their families.
"It’s important for one, to unite members to see we recognize the hard work they do," said Major Joseph Harris. "Also for the community to understand we’re here and actually a part of the community."
Although the 220th E-I-S has been recognized by the community through numerous letters of appreciation and awards, including 5 outstanding Air Force Unit awards- one of which was presented Sunday. Harris said coming home still has its challenges.
"It takes a long time to actually get reacclimatized to just the whole environment over here," explained Harris. "You have to completely change modes of operations from being deployed in Afghanistan it takes a little while to actually put it all together again."
The 220th EIS have also been deployed for their role in Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.