Once upon a time, two soldiers went off to war.

The first was young, rebellious and single. The second, older, wiser and a family man.Both were willing to sacrifice their lives - if need be - to make the world a safer place.

The first, for what seemed like an eternity, battled the enemy - often with one arm tied behind his back. The second never saw the enemy - at least not in battle.

The first was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery, helping save the lives of several fellow warriors when they came under attack. The second was never under the gun - except to do his job.

Both came home proud - knowing they had done their best.

Which of the two was greeted as a hero?In 1966, Lenny joined the Army at the age of 19, despite his mother's protests.

"I was quite the rebel," he recalls.

He flew to Vietnam - not knowing what to expect. For the 11 months and 18 days he was in Vietnam, he was assigned to work with the Green Berets on reconnaissance patrols.

One day his unit was on patrol and was ambushed by North Vietnamese regulars. He realized the immediate danger they were in and quickly took charge, organizing the men, getting them in positions to defend themselves properly. Once the shooting died down, he helped flush out the enemy.

For that action and continued exemplary leadership during his tour of duty in Vietnam, Lenny - an Army private - received the Bronze Star. He also received a Presidential Citation Ribbon, Vietnam Ribbon and a Tet Offensive Ribbon.

"I had a devil-may-care attitude - but I was proud of what I was doing."

After his time in hell was over, Lenny flew home - alone.

No bands playing, no hero's welcome - only loved ones greeted him at the airport.

"The pride I felt while I was over there was lost when I got back and saw the way things were," Lenny says. "I had friends from school out protesting - long ugly hair, beads and smokin' that funny stuff.

"They didn't know what they were talking about - they didn't see the little kids and the suffering they went through," Lenny said.

I was embarrassed to see people demonstrating against us being over there," Lenny says. "I felt like an outsider in my own world."

Lenny did "a lot of bar hopping" after he was discharged, never really settled down until he married at the age of 23.

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Leonard joined the Army Reserves in 1975.

"A friend at work urged me to join, Leonard says. "It really wasn't the money at the time - it was that spark of patriotism."

But he never dreamed he'd get called up.

"Always thought there would be enough regular soldiers to handle any future conflict," he says. "Not that they didn't warn us. For the past three years we'd practice getting ready to ship out in 48 hours - everything packed and ready to roll.

"The last one wasn't a drill," he said.

The sergeant first class was the truck master for his Army Reserves 419th Transportation Company, which was shipped to Saudia Arabia in November.

Most of the time, Leonard and his fellow weekend warriors didn't do much.

When the ground assault began, Leonard was responsible for keeping the trucks and tanks rolling.

He saw war's destruction - "miles after miles of blown-up tanks and vehicles - and blown-up bunkers."

He found two notebooks and some papers in a damaged bunker in Iraq.

He also saw some Iraqis who had surrendered, but fortunately he never came under fire.

In less than a week, the ground war was over, and Tuesday Leonard flew back into Salt Lake City.

"I was surprised - astonished," Leonard said of his greeting back home - a band playing, huge crowd, welcome-home signs, ribbons, family members, friends.

Speaking at a welcome party, Leonard said, "Everywhere I go, I'm greeted as a hero. Everyone welcomes me home and tells me what a great job we did. It's incredible.

"I can't believe the difference 20 years makes," he said.

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Two wars over 20 years apart, but both soldiers are one and the same - Leonard (Lenny) Michaelsen.

"This welcome home really made me feel that I had finally done something worthwhile for my country.

"I'm no war hero from this one, Michaelsen says, "I just did my job. But now I'm proud to be back. And it's great seeing people actually acknowledging their pride in being Americans."

"In Vietnam, I had no worries - I was single," Michaelsen says. "This time I worried a lot about my wife and children.

"The loved ones we left home alone - they're the heroes."

His wife, Gay, daughters Channon and Stephanie and son Jason are glad he's home.