23 News told you Sunday night about the safe arrival of Freeport's 333rd Military Police Unit at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. On Sunday the unit got to spend time with family. Now, the troop is starting the tough process of getting back to civilian life.
Art Anderson got called to serve in 1943. Art says, "They told us what to do and I tried to be a good soldier."
But Art has also had to deal with the casualties of war. When he returned from World War II he had lost one eye and was confined for 10 months in order to be treated for tuberculosis. Art knows firsthand that life after a war can be full of anxiety and anger.
To survive with the post war stress, social workers at the Vet Center in Rockford help units like the 333rd adjust. In Iraq, the unit experienced highly intensive situations daily. Here, life in the United States does have a calmer routine.
Dorothy Carskadon, a social worker at the Vet Center says, "These are traumatic times, you have to learn how to live with it."
So how can those of us that these soldiers were trying to protect help? The best advice is to let these new veterans do the talking, but it's still okay to show or voice our thanks.
Dorothy says, "They might be embarrassed about all the attention, but thank them as a way to show respect."
With such large units like the 333rd returning home, older generations are also re-experiencing war memories.
The 333rd Military Police Unit is expected to demobilize in Fort McCoy for five to seven days.
The Vet Center in Rockford is also looking for a peer counselor who served in Iraq or Afghanistan to help with the large amount of troops returning from that area. Contact the Vet Center to apply.