Ohio National Guard Troops Come Home

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As buses carrying the soldiers pulled up at St. John Arena relatives and friends let out their emotions. It had been about a year since their tour started in Iraq. Specialist Brad Hoffman had spoken regularly to his family, but was relieved to be home. “Exciting just happy, glad to be back and I haven’t seen them in awhile 6 months since leave, so it’s just nice to see their faces. It’s nice to see them okay.” Hoffman said.

Hoffman’s mother Patty looked forward to the holidays. “What are you guys going to do for Christmas? Just sit and relax and do what he wants to do.” Hoffman said.

A welcome home ceremony greeted The Ohio Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment. The unit flies Black Hawk helicopters and had spent the past year conducting more than 18-hundred battlefield missions and transporting more than 350-thousand pounds of cargo.

Sgt. Brandon Scott, father of two says he is proud of the work accomplished, but he is glad to be home.

“It means everything to be home for the holidays and to be able to spend Christmas with my kids and they ensured us they would do everything in their power to get us home and they lived up to their side of the bargain so I’m definitely thankful.” Scott said.

Sgt. Justine Chopp said being back in the U.S. felt strange.

“It’s a relief, but it doesn’t feel normal. It hasn’t fully kicked in yet I don’t think. It won’t kick in until Christmas.” Said Chopp.

The entire battalion made it home for the holidays.

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