Locals Anticipating Return Of Troops From Afghanistan

Published 02/12 2013 03:49PM

Updated 02/12 2013 09:19PM

President Obama announced U.S. troops are coming home soon. About 34,000 will be back from Afghanistan by this time next year.

Craig Steblen shared photos of his son Philip an airman with the U.S. Airforce deployed to Afghanistan last fall.

"We're proud of him," said Philip's father Craig Steblen.  "He's very good at what he does.  But we still, we're nervous.  Pretty much.  But we also have confidence that he knows what he's doing," added Steblen.

The news of Phillip's  anticipated return could not come soon enough for the airman's

"We can't wait for him to come home," said Steblen.  "He missed his first anniversary, he missed Christmas, he's going to miss his birthday. And uh, so we are anxiously awaiting him coming home."

The welcome mat is always out at the local Veterans Outreach Center.  The VOC is at the ready helping troops coming home. It is here that veterans can find help with everything from housing to finding a job.

"Every soldier, airman, marine who leaves service should come here at least once.  Register with us.  Make sure that all of your benefits that are due you, are acknowledged and utilized," VOC spokesperson Alexis Ganter said.

Ganter says many vets are too proud to reach for help right away.

"The statistics show that the need for services, or the identifying need for services, doesn't peak for up to 20 years after your separation from service.  Does that mean that the specific veteran isn't in need, not necessarily," she said.

As for Philip,  his family plans to help him any way it can and lead him to services like those offered at the VOC as he transitions back to civilian life.

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