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Heroes return home

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - 280 members of the Guam Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment were welcomed home just after midnight on Sunday.  The soldiers spent the last 308 days on deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operating Enduring Freedom. They underwent demobilization at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where the remainder of the Guam soldiers are anxiously awaiting their return flight home as well. 

Cheers and screams erupted as the white Omni airplane touched down just after midnight at the Guam International Airport Authority.  The soldiers were welcomed with a water salute as the aircraft parked on the runway.  Governor Eddie Calvo, Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio, and Adjutant General Major General Benny Paulino were the first to welcome the soldiers home before they deplaned the aircraft.  

Soldiers ran to their families who were in designated areas on the tarmac based upon the different companies searching through hundreds of people holding welcome home signs.   Spouses embraced in tearful and emotional reunions as children clung to their deployed parent with ear to ear grins.   Some soldiers even returned home to meet their babies for the first time.  

Governor Calvo thanked the soldiers for their service saying the Guam Army National Guard soldiers represented the island well and performed exceptionally well. Calvo and Major General Paulino leave tomorrow to Camp Shelby to see the remaining wave of soldiers who are expected to arrive back in the next week or two.  

 

 

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