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Friends and relatives of National Guard troops returning from a year in Afghanistan crowded the steps of the National Guard armory in Austin on Wednesday afternoon. Members of the Austin VFW color guard lined the sidewalk, and Patriot Guard riders stood with a row of flags. Aleta Christopherson of Austin, one of the organizers of the welcome-home event, was "bouncing off the walls." A crowd of about 100 people from throughout southeastern Minnesota gathered to greet members of the 114th Transport Company, who had spent a year in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The troops, including Guard members from Oronoco, Winona, Lyle, Rose Creek, Austin, Mankato and Waseca, hauled water and food to Soldiers at forward bases and outposts. They operated out of Camp Leatherneck. Police sirens wailed as three Minnesota State Patrol squad cars, followed by five Patriot Guard motorcycles, escorted the bus carrying 27 Guard members off Interstate 90 and into Austin. The crowd applauded as the motorcade headed into the armory turnaround. The Guard members got off the bus and lined up in formation on the lawn for dismissal. Once the Guard members gave the final salute, their relatives and friends charged onto the lawn. Spouses and children broke out in tears. Many people in the crowd shook hands with the Guard members and said, "Thank you." Christopherson's son, Sgt. Hans Gilbert, returned from his third overseas deployment in his 10-year career with the Army National Guard. "It's tough. I know a lot of people are having difficulty adjusting, but I've been deployed before so I know what to expect," Gilbert said. Gilbert said the mission went well but that the constant threat of roadside bombs made the mission dangerous. "That's part of the job, I guess," Gilbert said. The 114th lost one Guard member during its time in Afghanistan. Spec. George Cauley, 24, of Walker, Minn., was killed by an IED on Oct. 7. Gilbert said Cauley's death affected everyone in the company. Members of the 114th held a 4.3-mile run in Afghanistan to honor Cauley and plan to keep it going now that they're home, Gilbert said. Staff at the armory said the 1135th Combat Systems Support Center Company recently received an alert about a possible deployment but are uncertain when, or if, it will happen. 6/10/2010 11:11:09 AM By Kurt Nesbitt The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Originally posted by 5 oClock
reply to post by CORN IS NUTS
Tks. for posting that. Any other ATSers in the area??
I started a thread to try to keep these movements in 1 spot that'll make it easier for us to track & confirm w/others in the area of the event, check it out & post any details if you agree.
Operation Essayons, an Army Reserve engineer exercise, will occur during June. It will be the first time the exercise is held at Fort McCoy, Stelzner said.
The Red Dragon exercise also will be held in June, followed by Patriot Warrior in July.