Since last fall, the Homebuilders Association has taken the lead in welcoming the soldiers and airmen from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base home. Operation Welcome Home is designed to bring the soldiers and their families together for one big fun event that gives the community the opportunity to show them exactly how much they care.
    The fourth iteration of Operation Welcome Home is slated for Saturday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Crown Coliseum. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division will be honored at a Fayetteville Guard arena football game.{mosimage}
    Billy Hylton, the president of the Fayetteville Homebuilders Association, said the organization will once again be{mosimage} purchasing 5,000 tickets for the soldiers and their families. In the past, events have revolved around Fireantz hockey. This is the first Operation Welcome Home football game. The Fayetteville Guard, Fayetteville’s arena football team, will be taking on the Augusta Colts. To date, the Guard has a 1-4 record.     So come cheer on the soldiers and the home team.
    Throughout the evening, the soldiers and their families will be honored in a number of ways, including the presentation of a special coin to each soldier.
    Hylton said the homebuilders took on this event to recognize the importance of the military in our community and the respect the community has for their dedication and sacrifice. Each of the preceding events has had record attendance, but has yet to be a sellout. Hylton hopes this event will be the sellout.
    “We’ve been talking with the 82nd command for some time and they are excited about participating and being a part of this event,” he said. “We want all of the soldiers to come out to the football game and have a great time.”
Commanders of the 82nd will be on had to welcome the soldiers home and to share in the evening with the community. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the game can be purchased at the Crown Box Office, and range in price from $8 for children up to $32 for adults.

    Contact Janice Burton at: editor@upandcomingweekly.com

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