120 Nat’l Guard Members Return From Afghanistan

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One-hundred-twenty members of the Minnesota National Guard returned home from their year-long deployment to Afghanistan on Thursday. They trained and mentored soldiers in the Afghan National Army.

A welcome home ceremony for the 257th Military Police Company was held Thursday afternoon at the Monticello Armory.

The tour of duty wraps up at a time when the news from Afghanistan is dominated by Taliban violence and President Karzai’s tensions with the U.S.

In contrast, Captain Troy Hyland says his Minnesota guard members got along well with the Afghans.

“I’m very proud of all the soldiers. They did a very good job with the Afghan National Army — even through interpreters and breaking down that language barrier,” said Hyland, commander of the 257th Military Police Company.

More challenges await nearly 30 of the 120 guard members returning home — they’re without civilian jobs.

Watch the video above to see their welcome home ceremony, captured by WCCO photojournalist Gordy Leach.

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