MT. JULIET, TN (WSMV) - The football field at Mt. Juliet Middle School is now the Barry Wilmore Field, after a special dedication ceremony Thursday evening.

Wilmore, a retired Navy Captain and NASA astronaut, said he "never dreamed of a day like this," when asked what he thought of the honor.

Wilmore enjoyed a reception with family and friends and then was whisked away to the Mt. Juliet Police Department by the fire chief.

From there, he was prepared for his flight with the LifeFlight crew.

At about 6 p.m., the LifeFlight chopper landed on the practice field behind the football field, and after disembarking from the helicopter, Wilmore ran the game ball onto the field.

After kickoff, the ball was handed to Coach Bohanon from Gladeville Middle School.

"This is home," Wilmore said. "My parents, my brother, still live here." 

The astronaut lived in space for about half a year, but he said he'll always think of Mt. Juliet as where his roots are.

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