There is no place like home for the holidays. Although those are the words to a Christmas song, the lyrics rang true for many on the day before Thanksgiving at Fort Polk.

To the delight of their families and friends, soldiers from Fort Polk's 573rd Engineer Company, 46th Engineer Battalion, returned home Monday, Nov. 19.

These soldiers are returning home from a nine-month deployment in Iraq. There were plenty of signs, balloons, smiles, hugs and kisses from their loved ones.

Their heartfelt homecoming was met with a full house of family members, friends and fellow soldiers. It was a truly joyous occasion, as the heroes who defend the freedoms of each and every citizen of the United States were able to return home to those they love.