Christopher Davis worked for six years at the Cherry Valley Sears, a time divided by two tours and 18 months fighting insurgents in Iraq. It's service that resulted in a Purple Heart.
Tears and hugs were abundant as former workers honored Davis' Purple Heart awarded to him last month.
In April, the soldier suffered multiple injuries when a bomb went off near Fallujah.
Despite his shrapnel wounds, Davis tracked down the man responsible for setting off the bomb just two days later.
While serving across the globe, co-workers sent dozens of letters and gifts, keeping Davis up-to-date on Rockford life, and the Icehogs.
And now that he's home, both the soldier and his fellow workers share a common admiration.
"Holidays are kind of difficult over there. It doesn't feel like the holidays but I got four packages from here alone. The letters and the cards meant a lot," Davis says.
"Anytime we needed anything or wanted anything he was there to help us no matter what part of the store we were in. I think everybody at the store is very proud of him and glad he's back and he's safe," Pam DeVore adds.
Davis says another Rockford soldier, Tim Apple, also received the Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.