U.S. Military men welcomed home to celebration in Bloomington

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — On Tuesday President Donald Trump announced most of the troops in the Middle East will be coming home. All but 5,000 military-men are coming home with the remaining staying in Afghanistan and Iraq (which is roughly half of the current level in each country).

Though those troops aren’t home yet, others arrived in Bloomington Tuesday to a welcoming home celebration they’ll never forget.

From over the phone conversations to in-person embraces, two Twin Cities service-men have been away for months, but came home to family, friends, first responders, and loved ones.

“It breaks your heart to have to let go during that final hug,” said Abigail Hesslau. “To just watch them in the background of your rear view window as you drive off.”

Hesslau had been dreaming about the moment she’d see her boyfriend, U.S. Army man Austin Jacquin, again. He returned Tuesday from an 11-month tour in Eastern Europe, but she says being back in his arms was worth the wait.

“It brings a lot of peace to my heart,” she said.

For Jacquin, it was like turning back in time.

“11 months right?” he asked Hesslau. “Yeah… it’s just like day one, but so many times better,” he said.

A scene to remember before driving back home. A simple show of gratitude, for the hometown hero fighting to keep us safe.

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