Residents of Chaplin welcomed home 1st Sgt. John Bulduc, who returned home from a year in Afghanistan Tuesday.
The celebration for Bulduc began when he walked through the doors of the Chaplin Elementary School, which he attended as a child. He was greeted by students and teachers who were lining the halls of the building to welcome him home.
"It's important for kids to realize that even at this young age you know, Veterans Day is not just a day off of school," said Chaplin Elementary School Principal Dan White. "And the nice thing is they all know John. They know who he is and he has a nice connection to all the kids."
Tuesday was also special day for fifth-grader Maggie Bulduc, who joined with the others in welcoming her father home.
"It's the best feeling in the world," she told Eyewitness News about having her dad home.
Michelle Bulduc agreed with her daughter's thoughts.
"For my daughter, for her to feel that sense of pride that even though her dad was gone for a year, that the community is kind of rallying around what he did and how important it was," she said.
John Bulduc has deep ties in Chaplin. He is a member of the elementary school's board of education and head varsity basketball coach at the Parish Hill High School, which he graduated from.
Tuesday, members of the community were eager to show their appreciation for the sacrifice he and his family have made.
"I am a very humbled and overwhelmed," said John Bulduc. "A community member who feels very fortunate to be a part of this very great community."
In December, John Bulduc will be back to his other job as a teacher in Glastonbury.
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