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National Guardsmen returns home after 11-month tour in Afghanistan

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 23:51:06-04

Tears and hugs at Sky Harbor International Airport as Arizona troops reunited with their families after nearly a year in Afghanistan.

Just before 11 a.m., a plane carrying 25 U.S. Army National Guardsmen landed in Phoenix. Families gathered outside the gate with signs, balloons, pictures and smiles.

"The goodbye was tough," said Nicolette Hammond waiting in Terminal Four for her husband Chris Hammond. When asked what she'll say to her husband when holding him for the first time in 11 months, she said. "Probably not many words, just hug him and bring him home."

The 25 National Guardsman returned home from an 11-month tour in Afghanistan as part of the 2nd Detachment, Charlie Company, 2-149th MEDEVAC Unit, a helicopter medical evacuation unit.

"MEDEVAC Unit is critical to get the soldiers back from the point of injury to where they can receive medical care," said Brigade Commander Jeremy Pfeifer.

An emotional reunion for the Hammond family who kept to their word with very little words when seeing each other.

"We just grabbed each other," said CW4 Chris Hammond. "It was my fourth deployment but it was my first being married. So it was different than the other ones."