California Guardsmen Return Home

5/3/2008 Fresno, CA 9 months have passed since most of the soldiers from the 1-143rd Field Artillery Battalion have planted their feet firmly on valley soil.

"Overwhelming joy. I can't explain it," said Sgt. Andrew McFerrin.

Soldiers reconnected with sons, daughters and loved ones. Overseas, this National Guard unit was responsible for maintaining checkpoints in Iraq as well as convoy security missions and detaining enemies of war.

Sgt. McFerrin said, "It's not the first time and it's not the last. It feels good. Really good to come home--all the clapping and cheering..."

The 1-143rd has provided support in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in the past and helped conduct security missions at airports in the United States. These soldiers said they're glad to have a break from duty and spend time with family.

This National Guard unit still has soldiers overseas. Most of them should return home sometime this summer.

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