Michigan Troops Come Home After a Year of Duty

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

It's been almost a year since these soldiers last set foot in Michigan, and they are glad to be home. About 100 troops from the 125th Infantry Battalion returned from a successful tour in Afghanistan.

"You know being away from the family for 12 months, missing all the birthdays, the holidays, there's nothing better than coming home," said Captain Aaron Jenkins of the Michigan National Guard.

"It feels great. It feels like we did a lot of great things over there, we did a lot of accomplishment, and it just feels nice to come home and reap the benefits of it," said Specialist Evangeline Flowers.

"It was tough, I had just gotten married before I left, so that made things interesting," said Sergeant Nathan Weemhoff.

They were in Afghanistan, providing security for local police and US troops. Fortunately no one from the company was killed but some were injured and are now being treated.

"There was an incident where grenade was slide under a check point, there was also an IED incident, were several soldiers were injured," said Jenkins.

Now that they're back, there are a few things on each person's to do list.

"First thing I want to do is go home and just relax," said Weemhoff.

"I'm hoping to eat some cake. That's been what I'm dying to do and ah, just relax. I really don't have any big ambitions at first," said Flowers.

Everyone at the homecoming had a slightly different story, a different experience and a different sacrifice.

"These are the events that we look forward to and so enjoy," said Major General Greg Vadnais, the Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. "You know, when we've finally got them back home that's what it's all about."

The troops touched down at the Capital City Airport before heading to their homes in Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Flint, and Saginaw.

There are currently 1,700 Michigan National Guardsmen serving overseas. However most of the soldiers here are on standby, leaving about 10,000 troops ready to respond in case of an emergency.

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