— A Highlands Middle School
custodian was greeted by scores of chanting and cheering students following his return to work after a two-year tour of duty in Iraq, according to The News Tribune
Lauren Luvaas, a 15-year veteran with Highlands Middle School who deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the 81st Brigade Combat Team
, was humbled and slightly embarrassed by all the fanfare he received, the story stated.
The Washington Army National Guard captain walked down the sidewalk greeting students and staff, the Highlands Middle School band played patriotic songs in his honor, the story noted.
According to the article, while many students and staff felt Luvaas'' coming home safely was a gift in and of itself, the veteran brought a gift to share with the school: An American flag that flew over his base in Iraq.
According to the story, the Highlands Middle School staff has posted updates about Luvaas at the entrance of the school for the past two years; however, on Monday, they were taken down because Luvass'' tour is over and he is once again a custodian at the school.
Many students showed their appreciation for Luvaas by hoisting signs and banners that read things like "Thank you, Mr. Luvaas," "We missed you" and "Welcome home American hero. We salute you," the story added.
Luvaas said: "It really goes to show that people appreciate when you serve your country overseas. It''s really good to be home."