When Oklahoma's 120th Engineering battalion came home last week, they knew there would be a homecoming celebration. They didn't know about another very special show of support.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day went to Schulter in Okmulgee County to find out how folks in a small town showed big hearts.
When Schulter school administrators heard the 120th Engineering battalion was on its way home, they quickly dismissed classes. 190 students from 1st through 12th grades were taken to a section along US highway 75 to wave and show their support.
Sophomore Danielle Tamplen: "I had never really seen anything like that and I thought it was really neat that we got to go over there and wave at them and congratulate them for coming home."
Kevin Lee[pictured] is one of those soldiers who spent more than one year away from family and friends. He's also a Schulter graduate. Lee says the students' show of support meant a lot. "I noticed all the children and the flags and it really touched me to know that a small community like that could come out and thank us for all the work that we did do over there and I'm definitely grateful for what they did do for us."
Schulter is a town of only about 600 people. Many soldiers on board those buses had never heard of the town. But after the heartfelt show of support, they definitely know about Schulter now. Steve Treagesser just got home as well. "It really felt good. A lot of pride just welled up inside when seeing all that so, it was great. Really awesome."
The soldiers will always remember that kindness. And it's hoped the students will remember their special day away from the classroom.
Schulter also had a teacher return home from Iraq, but he wasn't a part of the homecoming. Special Education teacher Sam Malone is a part of the 316th Quartermaster group. He's been away from home for about a year.