After a year at war, several thousand Arkansas National Guardsmen have been back at home for the last four weeks. Some of them may have had a hard time adjusting to civilian life, but the upside to that, is the welcome home celebrations in their honor. "Their willingness to serve their country and make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary," said Patricia Johnson, a volunteer who organized the celebration. "It`s a tremendous sacrifice that they were willing to make, one that our counrty can`t pay them enough to do." Father and son team, Sergeant First Class Mike McDonel and son, Staff Sergeant Bryan McDonel have been adjusting to civilian life for the last four weeks. "It was a double-edged sword. I was as feared for him as I was proud," said SFC Mike McDonel. Twenty-five year old Staff Sgt. Bryan McDonel decided 14 years ago that someday he and his father would serve side-by-side. "It`s been a dream of mine since I was a little boy. He left for Desert Strom in `91 and I said that would be the last time he`d go to combat without me," McDonel said. Monday evening, the two sat side-by-side, humbly accepting thanks from the community they represent. "It`s overwhelming at times. We just feel like we went over their and did our job. We don`t really feel like we deserve all this, but everybody seems to feel like we do," said the younger sergeant. Of the 3,000 soldiers of Arkansas` 39th Infantry Brigade, about 105 of them are from the Pine Bluff area. "People at home taking care of business and supporting us, it makes our job over there so much easier," said Brigadier General Ron Chastain, commander of the 39th Brigade. All 3,000 soldiers of the 39th are demobilized and either at home or in the process of coming home. The Arkansas National Guard still has about 400-450 soldiers deployed. And 500 members of the Air National Guard`s 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith are in the process of shipping out. The tradition of serving their country will never die early in the McDonel family: when it comes to fighting a war, blood is thicker than water. "We`ve had everbody from the Civil War forward, my grandfather and father and both uncles in WWII, my dad in Vietnam and Korea," explained father McDonel.