Army Specialist Jackie Gatti was greeted by her family at the Westover Air Force base in Massachusetts.
The family decided to go out for dinner to celebrate, but when they all got back into the family pick-up truck Jackie realized her military backpack had been stolen.
"I looked and I said, you have to be kidding me, it's gone. And that's really all I could get out of my mouth, was it's gone," Jackie explains.
She had her cherished awards from her deployment and military documentation in her backpack.
"I had company coins that my commander and first sergeant had given me as a job well done", says Jackie.
"The two hour ride home was, you know, we were crying .We were trying to control ourselves," recalls, Jackie's mother, Carolyn Gatti.
The 23-year-old just wishes the thief will return her items.
"That's something that we pride ourselves on in the military is our integrity, so I hope this person can find theirs," says Jackie.
Jackie and her mom have been calling local pawn shops in search of her stolen items.
In addition to her ribbons and certificates, she says she had a fleece military jacket and some gifts from her fellow soldiers inside the bag.