Updated: Thursday, 24 Dec 2009, 9:11 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 24 Dec 2009, 9:08 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - If the soldiers, Marines and airmen who landed in Albuquerque Thursday wondered how much their service is appreciated, they got an answer.
The troops arriving just in time for Christmas were expecting to be greeted by family and friends, which they were. What they weren't expecting, though, was the hero's welcome they got.
The local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers organized a greeting party for one soldier they knew was coming home. Then it turned out nearly 10 service people were coming and going during the hour the group was at the Sunport.
And each member of the service was treated to applause, a walk of honor between flags and hugs from those who appreciate their service and sacrifice.
"I didn't expect it at all," Marine Kelly Brown told KRQE News 13. "I just came in there, they said I'm a Marine, so I just came in.
"They're like, you got to walk through, and I said great. It's quite a homecoming."
One returning soldier seeing the commotion asked his mother who they were cheering for. When he learned they were cheering for him, he said it was overwhelming.
The Blue Star Mothers said they'll be busy after the holidays putting together care packages that they plan to send to servicemen and women in late February.
The Blue Star Mothers are a national organization comprised of
mothers whose child currently are serving in the military or have
served in the past.