GRAND PRAIRIE — Mayor Charles England officially proclaimed April 6 “Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Day” in Grand Prairie in honor of Army Reserve soldiers in 2nd Battalion, 381st Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West.

It was “a day to recognize our warrior-citizens and their commitment to our country (and) their legacy of patriotism and sacrifice,” England said.

Congress and former President George W. Bush instituted the “Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen” program to publicly recognize and thank Army Reserve soldiers for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The program also recognizes soldiers’ families and the support they have provided to their warrior-citizens.

The ceremony was held at the unit’s hometown civic center, the Ruthe Jackson Center, and was well attended by family members of the honorees, community members and fellow soldiers.

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain was the guest speaker, and the South Grand Prairie High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps battalion provided a color guard.

McClain’s 33 years of service included extensive experience with citizen-soldiers. She spoke about the unique challenges Army Reserve soldiers face as they transition from their civilian lives to active-military service, and how it affects service members and their families, employers and communities.

Grand Prairie Deputy Mayors Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson and Richard Fregoe attended the ceremony as representatives of the city. Also in attendance was Col. Richard Creed Jr., commander of the 479th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Hood.

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