By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thirteen Minnesota Air National Guard members are home in time for the holidays after serving overseas in Kuwait.

They arrived Wednesday morning at the National Guard Base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Dahl, who returned a month-and-a-half early, was greeted by his wife, Beth, who didn’t seem to want to let go.

“It’s quite a surprise to be home for Christmas and get to spend the holidays together,” Tech. Sgt. Dahl said.

These airmen have seen a lot of active duty the past two years, including working in Minneapolis and St. Paul during the riots after George Floyd’s death. Sgt. Mark Daigle says it’s all part of being a member of the guard.

(credit: CBS)

“Coming home early from a deployment is a very, very rare opportunity, so we were very anxious, yet reserved,” Daigle said.

In the end, getting to come back early to some hugs and the love of home makes it all worthwhile for troops and their families.

“It’s just really nice to have him back, especially in time for the holidays,” Beth Dahl said.

Some of the airmen did not tell their families they were coming home, and were looking forward to surprise welcomes.

Esme Murphy