Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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The Ohio National Guard welcomed home 130 Soldiers from the 323rd Military Police Company during a public ceremony Thursday at the Cedar Creek Church.
The 323rd Military Police Company was responsible for perimeter security at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar for nearly a year, which included manning multiple entry control points and performing site security. It was called a successful mission from their commander, Capt. Andy Hawkins.
Family and friends couldn't hold back their excitement as the soldiers returned home. As soon as the buses stopped, they took off running. The men and women returning said they were thankful to be home safe and in the arms of their families.
For Sgt. Christopher Kent, that meant seeing his 3-year-old son, Tristan, who has grown significantly in his absence.
"I thought about him every day, I got his little pictures in the mail and everything like that," said Kent. "But it's not the same."
Previous deployments for the 323rd include Operation Desert Storm (1990), Operation Noble Eagle (2001), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) and several state active duty mobilizations to assist in flooding and tornado relief.
Natalie Clark will have more reaction from returning soldiers and their families, plus what the commander in charge has to say about the mission tonight starting on WTOL 11 News at 5.