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      Arden Road welcomes home local Marine

      Many soldiers returning from overseas receive some kind of "Welcome Home" greeting, but not many see one from an entire school.

      Father of two Arden Road Elementary students, Staff Sgt. Savath Phetluangsy, just returned home from Afghanistan this past Saturday and to welcome him home from his nearly year long deployment -- students, teachers, and administration from Arden Road gathered this morning for a "Welcome Home" assembly.

      "This is the first dad that we've had come back from overseas, we've never had this situation," said one Kindergarten teacher for Arden Road Elementary, Melody Browder. "We wanted to make our kids aware that these men are giving up months and years of their lives to go overseas away from their family and loved ones and protect the freedoms and the liberties that we enjoy and take for granted every day."

      Staff Sgt. Phetluangsy, his wife and all four of their kids were at the ceremony. The kids heard a few words from the Staff Sgt. himself about his deployment, sang a few patriotic songs, and then gave the Marine a gift card for a night out with his family.

      "I felt very honored that they school would do this stuff for me especially coming home," said Staff Sgt. Savath Phetluangsy. "It was unexpected."

      "This is our kids first year here and it's an amazing school and it's just precious that they wanted to honor him that way and it meant the world to our kids to get to celebrate their daddy," said Phetluangsy's wife, Terry. "They are more proud of their daddy than any person so it meant a whole lot to us."

      T h e kids also made "Welcome Home" posters for the Staff Sgt. and had them hanging up during the ceremony Tuesday morning.