National Guardsmen Return from Iraq

More happy homecomings for Georgia National Guard units this morning. Today, almost 300 Guardsmen and -women with the 878th Engineer Battalion were greeted by family and friends. They are all part of a National Guard unit that includes personnel from Toombs, Emanuel, Bulloch and other south Georgia counties.

The group has been in Iraq for a year rebuilding roads from Kuwait to Baghdad, and building water canals in Al Nasariyah.

Many say this homecoming was a long time coming. "I am glad to be home, glad to be with my family, glad to get these great guys home," said commander Col. John Heath. "They did everything they were asked to do and then some. They looked after each other and came home safe."

"I've been waiting every day for him to come back," Betty Heath, the colonel's mother. "There have been a lot of prayers going up for him, the whole county has been supporting him, and he looks great."

Sixty-one members of the battalion are still in Baghdad. They'll return in early July. There will be a parade for the returning troops on June 10 in Vidalia.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti,