Captain James Hart enlisted in the National Guard when he was 17.
He's now home after completing his second tour in Afghanistan.
His wife worked with Operation Welcome You Home to plan Sunday's event.
Besides a lot of hugs and thank-yous, the group presented Hart and his family with several gifts.
Both were surprised by the turnout, but Captain Hart is just glad to be back among the familiar.
"Just happy to see grass and trees and buildings and things we take for granted," he said.
"Shocked at all the people who came out," said Beth Hart. "I so did not expect any of this."
After the big welcome, Captain Hart and his family had lunch at Culver's, a meal you can't get when you're away from home.