National Guard 1106th Homecoming

FRESNO, Calif. After a year long support mission in Kuwait many mothers and wives could barely contain their emotions.

Each soldier is a member of the 1106th aircraft and repair maintenance depot. The unit is so specialized that only three others like it exist in the U.S. They are responsible for repairing damaged aircraft overseas. So instead of shipping those planes back home, they can get fixed quicker there and support the troops on the ground.

However, now the mission is family.

Warrant Officer Keith Bennion said: "I haven't really been able to touch them, hold them, kiss them. It's…did you miss your daddy?' 'yeah,'" exclaimed his son Alex.

Like many soldiers here, this is Bennion's second deployment overseas, his hardest tour yet. "My beautiful wife was my fiancée at the time. We didn't have our two boys. And now with the whole family it makes a difference."

Some wives found comfort knowing the unit was stationed far from immediate enemy threats. "I feel like it's a lot calmer in the area that he was in. They definitely got mortared a lot less so... well, at least he told me," said Jessica Fern.

While members of the 1106th were traveling home thousands of Iraqis dodged mortars and rockets just for the opportunity to vote for a new parliament.

This is the second election since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Soldiers we spoke to said change is possible if the Iraqi people want it.

However now that they're back in Fresno all attention is on loved ones and clearly away from war.

"Hey there's a puppy! Daddy daddy, there's a puppy over there," pointed out an elated Alex.

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