Air Guardsmen Return from Afghanistan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/15/04

Air Guardsmen Return from Afghanistan

Families wave hello to a C-130. Families wave hello to a C-130.

About every two months, personnel with Savannah's 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air Guard have been rotating in and out of southwest Asia. Today more than 30 men and women from the 165th received a hero's welcome after returning from doing their part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Today family, friends and pets braved the frigid temperatures waiting for their loved ones to come home. When they finally got off the plane, Guardsmen like Capt. James Hadley got Christmas presents a little early. "Out of all the times that we've been gone, [my daughter]'s always been afraid of me," he said. "This is the first time she ran out and said daddy. That's nice, so nice."

For these members of the 165th, this is their second rotation this year. And after missing Thanksgiving, coming home now has special meaning. "It's been a while," said Tech Sgt. Bill Wise. "We did great, it's our job and duty, but it feels wonderful to be home."

Although they all have a list of what they're thankful for, this is the best gift they could get.

No word yet if and when they'll be deployed again. These men and women were were in Afghanistan when they held their elections and saw history in the making. So while they had to miss Thanksgiving, many of them said it was well worth it.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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