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Arkansas National Guardsmen Return Home in Time for Christmas

(Little Rock, KATV) — Three hundred and fifty Arkansas National Guardsmen, have gone since February 5th of this year. Finally making their long-awaited return to the state.

“2-153 infantry. We were deployed to the Middle East to perform security forces across the central command area of responsibility.” Lieutenant Colonel, Kevin Scott Burton said.

Nine months in South West Asia in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“In a very unique environment because our battalion was spread out across six different countries in 12 different locations, so we were spread out 1000s of miles. But, you know, the team, they performed outstanding. They really represented their families, their communities, and the state of Arkansas,” Burton said.

Almost a full year away from home between training and being overseas. Families were excited to be reunited.

“It feels great. The families are the real heroes. It’s easy to go over and do the mission but they have to keep things going at the home front. That’s just the hardest part of it. So everybody’s families are great. Two families, just mostly our two soldiers,” Arkansas National Guardsman, Raymond Jurjens said.

Among those reunited were one wife and husband who had only seen their newborn once since her birth during his deployment.

“It wasn’t fun at all. I stayed with… I have a lot of family and friends so that helped a lot with him being gone,” Wife Brooklyn Boggs said.

“I’m very excited now that he’s back home,” Boggs added.

Source: Abc7 On Your Side