American flags are flying along U.S. 40 in downtown Brazil. There are many patriotic reasons to show the colors. Monday is President's Day. The Indiana National Guard 38th MSB Company B out of Brazil was deployed to Fort Bragg in South Carolina just days ago.
And one mother and father from Brazil are very happy because their son is coming home after a 13- month deployment in Kuwait.
Sgt. David McClelland, son of Bill and Marilyn McClelland, is expected to arrive at the Indianapolis International Airport at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning subject to a four-hour variable flight arrival time.
According to Family Readiness Group Chairperson Jodie Myers, David is a member of the Indiana National Guard 152nd Infantry Company Alpha out of Linton in Greene County. Alpha Company was deployed to Kuwait in January 2003.
"Once they arrive at the airport they'll have a brief welcome home ceremony by a few dignitaries then the troops will be released to their families," Myers said. "After a 48 hour pass, they will go to Camp Atterbury, three to five days, for demobilization. Then the soldiers will return to Guard status. Of course, with the military, any of this is subject to last minute changes."
Marilyn McClelland and her husband, who live on the corner of Jackson and Franklin Streets, have been anxiously awaiting for David's return.
"He missed all of the holidays this year," Marilyn said. "We still have our Christmas tree up. We have three actually. One is decorated in patriotic ornaments. David had to celebrate his 21st birthday in Kuwait.
"Everyone shows a lot of support, and emotions run high when the troops first leave. Then we go on with our daily lives and tend to forget about them."
Marilyn said that she called Mayor Tom Arthur and asked him to have the flags put up to honor the returning soldiers and to show continuing support for all of the troops.
"He was so gracious and helpful," Marilyn said. "We are so appreciative for all he did. Also, members of the First Presbyterian Church have been writing letters to the troops since they've been gone. We're very grateful to them too."