Hundreds welcome home National Guard from Afghanistan - WSPA.com

Hundreds welcome home National Guard from Afghanistan

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Family and friends lined the Pitt-Greenville Airport, to welcome home the 514th Military Police Company of the National Guard.

On Saturday, more than 100 soldiers returned home after an almost year-long deployment in Afghanistan.

9 on your Side captured the long awaiting return of these soldiers and their families.

Family and friends greeted their loved ones with signs, flowers, cheers, and hugs.

"It's nice to see family and friends and the people who came out here to support. The support during this deployment, it's been really touching and unfathomable. With everything that we've gone through it's been awesome," said soldier Sarah Viau.

Although, it was an exciting moment for hundreds, the homecoming was bittersweet. In Oct. 2012, three of the unit's soldier, Army Sgt. Thomas Butler, Jeremy Hardison, and Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson, were killed by a suicide bomber.

Though those fallen soldiers didn't make it home, their fellow soldiers carried them home in spirit.

"It's something that you just never forget, just watching people go through that, and watching how they deal with something like that. Today is a sad day too, because we're all coming home to our families but those three heroes , their families don't have their soldiers coming home, which is heartbreaking," said Viau.

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