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140 Utah National Guardsmen return home

140 Utah National Guardsmen return home


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Alex Cabrero reportingMore than 100 soldiers from Utah National Guard's 116th Unit came home today after spending almost a year overseas in Iraq.

Sometimes when we see soldiers leave there are a bunch of tears because families know they're going to be separated for a while. But the tears shed today were tears of joy because this group of soldiers is now back home with their families.

This afternoon, the Southwest airplane taxied up to the Utah Air National Guard building with an escort. It was greeted by family members holding signs and flags, ready to greet their soldiers.

Once the soldiers got off the airplane the hugging ceremonies began. "I don't know if there is words to describe it, just glad to be home. It's been a long year," Sgt. Chris Winterton said.

"It's really relieving, actually. You just keep thinking that he's going to leave again, though. I keep finding myself saying, ‘Oh, I have to show him this and this before he goes off again.' No, he's home! It feels good!" Kristi Winterton said.

Overall, 140 soldiers came home today on two different flights. The good news is that includes all the soldiers in the unit. Some were injured, but all made it home alive.

The group also received five purple hearts.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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