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Minnesota National Guard
VIDEO: WCCO -- B. Co., 1-194 Welcome Home Event in Woodbury, Minn.



10/15/07
By Jason DeRusha, WCCO

Minnesota National Guard Soldiers come home from Iraq
(Run time 2:07)



(WCCO) Woodbury, Minn
-- Nearly 200 Minnesota National Guardsmen are home with their families, after 13 months in Iraq.

More than 1,000 people gathered at Valley Crossing Community School in Woodbury, Minn to welcome the Soldiers home The Soldiers, with East St Paul-based Company B, 1st Battalions, 194th regiment, arrived after spending four days reintegrating at Fort McCoy, Wis.

"Your heroes are home," announced Major Bob Intress with the Minnesota National Guard, to a deafening roar from the crowd.

The company was deployed in Iraq as a security force company The entire group split up across the country Some worked with Iraqi police and others worked for the US Marines.

"They're starting to get things together," said Sgt Riley Anderson a Minnesota National Guardsman "You can't look at Iraq like it's one country Every village is different Some are more corrupt than others."

Anderson was flanked by his girlfriend, his brother and sister, and his mother, Sherry.

"It's indescribable," said Sherry Anderson "To know that he's home safe, that he's come home all in one piece and that now he can go out and do what he wants to do with his life."

For many guardsmen, this was the first opportunity to see newborn children since they were days old.

"Oh, she's so different!" exclaimed Spc Alex Barnett, from Lino Lakes, Minn, as he looked at 4-month-old Ava "She's beautiful."

"It's amazing We've waited a long time for this moment," added his wife, Krista Barnett.

The same scene played out across the gymnasium of the school Scott Wagner saw his son Kolby for the first time since he was born.

"Yes, he's looking healthy! His motor skills are much improved," he said "It's overwhelming."

While deployed, the unit conducted hundreds of missions with the Iraqi army and Iraqi police According to the Minnesota National Guard, several members of the unit received bronze star medals Two received purple hearts for wounds received in combat No Soldiers were seriously injured or killed during the deployment.
Article source: www.wcco.com



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