The heroes from the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division were welcomed Saturday as the community and the city of Leesville recognized returning soliders, complete with family activities, a change of command ceremony and the Leesville Christmas parade. The event was appropriately named the "I'll Be Home For Christmas" celebration and parade.
Approximately 4,000 soldiers from the 4-10 participated in the activities, which were highlighted by a change of command and responsibility ceremony. The change of command and change of responsibility ceremony included the passing of colors from Col. Bruce P. Antonia and Command Sgt. Maj. Steven L. Womack to Col. Mario A. Diaz and Command Sgt. Maj. Noe R. Salinas.
The 4-10 deployed to Afghanistan in October of 2010 and began returning to Fort Polk in August of this year. Diaz, who previously attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., said that Leesville's ceremonies showed America's faithfulness to their troops.
"If anyone ever doubts that this nation is great, they need to stand here today," Diaz said.