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Late Troop Homecoming Disappoints Military Families

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ELK RIVER, Minn. (WCCO) - Laura Hudson, a military wife from Elk River, has been waiting a year for the moment her husband returns home. Now, she feels that moment has been robbed.

Her husband serves with the 134th Brigade Support Battalion of the Minnesota Army National Guard. They’ve been serving in Kuwait since last June.

His brigade arrived late Monday night, so the typically large welcome home from the community was absent.

“You spend the whole year just wrapping your heart around this homecoming picture that you have in your head,” said Hudson. “And then, when it doesn’t happen, it’s really hard (cries).”

Her husband left when his youngest child was only 4 months old. A lot has changed since then.

“Even our car seat situation has changed,” said Hudson. “We have two in boosters and one in a forward facing.”

Hudson is most upset that the late arrival is preventing her three young children from witnessing their father’s homecoming.

She says she won’t bring her three kids under five out at one in the morning for what she calls a “less than perfect ceremony.”

“They’re going to come home to a limited number of people standing in a dark parking lot, it’s not the same,” said Hudson. “I want them to have that memory of like when they get older thinking, ‘Dad was gone for a year and all these people were so excited, and knowing that the country’s behind these guys.'”

The Minnesota National Guard told WCCO that given the complexity of transporting nearly three thousand troops from combat duty, they do not have control of the flight dates and times.

They say their goal is get soldiers back home to their families as quickly as possible.

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