Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Despite the cold weather, there was a warm welcome today for American troops. Some Utah National Guardsmen are finally home again.
Today couldn't come soon enough for LeighAnn Taylor. She saw her husband again for the first time since he was called to duty, last February.
Leigh Ann Taylor: “I couldn’t contain it. As soon as I saw him, I thought, ‘Can I go? Can I go? I have to see him.”
Their reunion was emotional. The couple has a 2-year old son. Sgt. Buck Taylor has missed half his life.
Sgt. Buck Taylor: "He's all grown up. He's a new kid. I can't wait to get to know him again."
It was the homecoming for 118 soldiers who were called to duty in the Middle East for a year. They are all part of the 141st military intelligence unit.
Sgt. Buck Taylor: "It means a lot to have had the opportunity to go serve our country and help liberate a country that desperately needed help."
The soldiers provided force protection and general intelligence support. Some helped gather information that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. But for some, their missions went beyond the call of duty.
Paul Holton, better known as 'Chief Wiggles', started 'Operation Give', a toy drive for Iraqi children.
Paul Holton, "Chief Wiggles": “The children have been deprived. Most of them have never even seen toys.”
His humanitarian effort gained international attention. He says his efforts will continue even though he's home.
Paul Holton: "I've got a lot to do because I've got three containers of toys that are on the water that I've got to make sure they get to their destination."
200 soldiers from the same unit are still in the Middle East. They left in December and will be gone for a year and a half.