National Guard Homecoming in Calumet

Today marks an exciting day for many local National Guard soldiers and their families in the western U.P.

More than 110 of them are back home just in time for Thanksgiving.

Lindsey Cramer was in Calumet for the homecoming.

After spending a year in Afghanistan, soldiers from the National Guard 1431st Sapper Company out of Calumet are home.

They flew back into the Houghton County Airport this morning, and then friends and family packed the Calumet High School gym to welcome them.

Emotions were running high for long-anticipated reunions with their loved ones.

Sergeant 1st Class Joseph Battisfore says the 1431st had a dangerous job.

They searched for and destroyed roadside bombs to make convoy routes safe for others to travel.

During their time in Afghanistan, the 1431st soldiers carried out more than 230 missions covering 16,000 kilometers on the ground.

And they identified and destroyed 85 homemade bombs.

The best part…everyone who deployed with the unit made it home safely.

The Red Cross was on hand today as well to provide flags and a welcome-home bag for each family.

They’re working on their ROSS program, or Re-Integration Outreach Support Services, right now.

They’re still looking for any organizations or businesses who want to help out by providing soldiers with resources.

They hope to get that information on a website, searchable by county, in the next few months.