Oak Ridge celebrates local soldier's return

Oak Ridge celebrates local soldier's return with surprise homecoming

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More than 200 people lined the streets, American flags in hand, ready to welcome Sgt. Stanley Martin home. More than 200 people lined the streets, American flags in hand, ready to welcome Sgt. Stanley Martin home.
Sergeant Stanley Martin has been in Afghanistan for 10 months. He just arrived back home to East Tennessee and was shocked to be greeted by the homecoming celebration. Sergeant Stanley Martin has been in Afghanistan for 10 months. He just arrived back home to East Tennessee and was shocked to be greeted by the homecoming celebration.
"I had no clue whatsoever. I was at a loss," said Sgt. Stanley Martin. "I had no clue whatsoever. I was at a loss," said Sgt. Stanley Martin.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - The Oak Ridge community turned out Monday for a very special homecoming ceremony, surprising a local soldier who has been serving overseas for nearly a year.

More than 200 people lined the streets, American flags in hand, ready to welcome him home.

"I hope he really knows how much we care," said Patty Bingham of Oak Ridge.

Sergeant Stanley Martin has been in Afghanistan for 10 months. He just arrived back home to East Tennessee and was shocked to be greeted by the homecoming celebration.

All those people were there to say thank you for his service, recognizing all he does to keep them safe.

"They give a lot. They sacrifice a lot and we need to remember that," said Bingham.

"Welcome home! You've been missed and enjoy being on US soil. We're so happy to have you back and thank you for your service," said Valarie Emery, a member of the Oak Ridge Moms Group, who helped organize the event.

Sgt. Martin said he couldn't believe it and was completely surprised.

"I had no clue whatsoever. I was at a loss," said Martin.

He says the recognition from his community at his safe return was overwhelming.

"I love being a soldier. I love being able to serve my country and to come home and be honored in return, there are no words to express how well that makes you feel, how loved it makes you feel and how worthwhile it makes the job," said Martin.

Already overjoyed to be home with his wife and two sons after being away so long, the surprise from his community just made it all the more special.

"This time it was 10 solid months away and it was difficult. I missed my family a lot. I missed a lot with my boys," said Martin. "Now I'm home."

This was Martin's third time overseas.

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