More than five months after the July 16th shootings that killed four Marines and one Navy Sailor, members of the military returned to where the first shots were fired, they say, to end the year on a positive note, and to honor the Chattanooga Police Department.

Chief Fred Fletcher was given the U.S. Army Award of Excellence.

"These awards are very rare," said Commander Peter Ahching, U.S. Army.

The award honors the police department for protecting the community on July 16th and in the days since.

READ MORE | Five CPD officers named who killed attacker in July 16th shootings

"We had the names of the officers who worked to destroy the threat on the day of," Cmdr Ahching said.

The recently released names of the officers who fired back at the shooter, Officer Dennis Pedigo who was wounded in the attack and survived, Chief Fred Fletcher and Mayor Andy Berke, all inscribed on the award.

"The names you see on here, those men would tell you that they don't like being singled out because they did what other officers do every single day, including that day on July 16th," Chief Fletcher said.

A terrorist attack that forever changed Chattanooga also helped create a stronger bond between those who fight to protect.
Local military and police say they now meet regularly and work closer together.
Since the shootings, Commander Ahching admits, life inside the recruiting center hasn't been the same.

"Since the attacks, it's been, you know, uneasy, stressful, but we are here to execute the nation's mission," he said.

This Award of Excellence is the only award handed out this year by the Commanders at the Lee Highway Recruiting Center, but more awards will be presented in the future to honor other heroes on July 16th.