National Guard soldiers return home - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

National Guard soldiers return home

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RESERVE, La. - It's been nearly a year since they've seen their loved ones.

The National Guard soldiers of the 1084th Transportation Company spent nine months in Afghanistan.

"They do security and transportation for trucks of supplies in Afghanistan. It's real dangerous," says Keith Frickey.

Family members say they couldn't be more proud of what the soldiers do to protect us.

"When 911 happened, they took his daddy away to Afghanistan. He said at the age of 7, when he grew up, he'd defend his country," says Vonda Vicellio.

Back in May, the Company suffered a casualty when Army Specialist Christopher Drake's armored vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

"That really hit home for us because they had not been deployed long when it happened," says Kristie Savoy.

Drake died in the arms of Specialist Williams Hernandez, who was driving the armored vehicle.

Today, as he holds a picture of his friend and fellow soldier with a heavy heart, he's also happy for the men and women who are making a safe return.

The buses arrived to a cheering crowd who could hardly wait to hug their soldiers again.

It was extremely special homecoming for Sgt. Peter Price, who met his 3-week-old daughter for the first time.

Their mission is complete, but these soldiers say they'll always be ready for their next assignment.

"We enjoy it. I would do it over and over again if I had to, just so Americans could be safe," says Specialist Richard Lee.

The National Guard says 70 of the soldiers of the 1084th received combat action badges, meaning they either received or returned fire on the mission.

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