Since First Sergeant Kimberly Staten and the rest of the 333rd Military Police Unit returned home in July, she says the area's collective open arms have exceeded all expectations.
“Just the community, giving us love, I'm overwhelmed by all of the support," Staten said.
While Saturday’s homecoming party in Freeport will celebrate the unit's service, Kimberlee says she'll always celebrate the unit's unbreakable bond.
"I think our biggest accomplishment was coming together as a company and whenever we needed a job done the company did it and they did it with great professionalism," Staten said.
But even with professionalism, Kimberlee says the mission's most consistent challenge was defending against the dangers that lurked out of view.
"It was the fear of the unknown. That's where the insurgents have been successful because they've caught us off guard and it's hard to fight what you can't see," Staten said.
Kimberlee has no regrets about serving in Iraq and says she'd do it again in a heartbeat.
"As a soldier you are obligated to do whatever you are called, no matter how bad it might be, how dangerous it might be, that's your obligation," Staten said.