Soldiers return home after Afghanistan deployment

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jan 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-17 20:19:07-05

SALT LAKE CITY - 150 members of the Utah National Guard's First Battalion, 211th Aviation, returned home to Utah on Thursday.

The soldiers served about a year in Afghanistan. For many of the soldiers, this was their first deployment.

"Beautiful! It's awesome to see my family again and I'm just really happy to be here," said Capt. Jon Richardson.

Family members gathered at the airport to welcome their soldiers home.

"When all of the flags started appearing and the doors opened and we were super excited," said Lissa Blake, a soldier's mother. "And then when we saw the plane we just couldn't hold back our tears."

The battalion flew Apache helicopters as they worked to collect reconnaissance and provided support to other troops.

The soldiers are returning to Utah in two groups, with the second group arriving on Sunday. In total, approximately 300 soldiers are coming home.