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Arizona National Guard 158th Infantry Battalion returns home to Arizona

Bushmasters Infantry returns home
Posted at 7:10 PM, May 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 18:09:23-04

PHOENIX — Flags, flowers and signs greeted hundred of members of the Arizona National Guard, who reunited with their families after a year-long deployment.

The 1-158th "Bushmasters" Infantry Battalion returned home after a deployment overseas, which primarily took place in Afghanistan. More than 330 citizen-soldiers had a chance to reunite with their loved ones, who hadn't seen them in-person for roughly a year.

"I'm super anxious...I'm nervous, I'm anxious, I'm excited," said Serena Baker who waited to greet her husband.

Several young children also anxiously waited to see their mother or father for the first time since 2018.

"It's a lot different, especially with a toddler," said Carmen Kreager as she waited for her husband. "We've done long distance before but not quite this length of distance."

After a brief ceremony, the families were able to hug their loved ones and welcome them home.

"It was nerve-racking," said Sgt. Chantelle Gaddy of seeing her family again. "[I was] very excited, I was shaking of course."

Several members of the National Guard told ABC15 they are looking forward to relaxing and spending time with family.

"Being a single father and missing birthdays, holidays and just the little things you miss," said Spc. Hector Heredia, who was greeted with a big hug by his four-year-old son.