A soldier returned home to Blue Earth after being gone for nearly a year.
Cole Steinke was welcomed back by friends, family and a parade on Monday. The parade started at Walmart and ran down Main Street.
"The first thing I?did when I got home was shower, nap and then spend time with my family,"?Steinke says.
Steinke had been in Kuwait for 10 months, plus being away from home for training.
"I?left on May 15 last year and went to Camp Ripley for two weeks,"?Steinke says.
He then went to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and Germany after that.
"From Germany we went out to Kuwait,"?he adds.
Steinke belongs to the National Guard-1-125 Field Artillery B Battery and served as portside security while in Kuwait.
"While we were there our job was to get our equipment out of the country,"?Steinke says.
He liked that it was a low-stress environment where he was, although certain aspects of the area weren't as low-stress.
"A?lot of guys out there were worried about the air quality,"?Steinke says.
There were a lot of oil refineries near the area they were stationed.
"It was hard to keep us calm about it," he says. "But other than that it was a low-stress place to be."?
However, he was relieved to be back home and able to see his friends and spend quality time with his parents Tom and Cindy Steinke.
"Most of my friends are still around Blue Earth or in Mankato,"?Steinke says. "So, it will be easy to get together with them."
Once he has gotten the chance to relax a bit and catch up with everyone, Steinke is ready to get back to work.
"My number one priority right now is to find a full-time job,"?he says.
He doesn't have a specific direction while job hunting and will be happy to do whatever job he can.
"I'm not too picky right now, I'm just looking to expand my horizon," Steinke says.
He is ready to put his skills right back to use again and eventually be able to move out of his parents' house.
"The military was more than helpful in preparing us for the job market,"?Steinke says. "They helped us with resumes and other skills like that. I'm going to start looking right away."