Midlands families welcome troops home from the front lines

WEST COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Love was in the air on Wednesday evening as 120 soldiers arrived by jet to Eagle Aviation.

For the first time in nine months, the men and women of the 742nd Support Maintenance Company were back on familiar ground and surrounded by familiar faces.

Oh, there are no words, I am so excited, says wife of returning soldier Karen Romuld.

The feelings of spouses, parents and children who have waited anxiously for Wednesday TMs welcome home ceremony couldn't be described in words by most, but it didn't need to be since the hugs and kisses said it all.

It lets you know you really are missed, says Staff Sgt. Warren Burns.

Burns has served overseas with the National Guard twice, however, he was not sent on this most recent deployment because of an injury.

Burns adds he wanted to still attend the ceremony to greet his unit, because to him they are family.

It TMs a great feeling when you come home and everybody is cheering, Burns said.

According to Capt. Bryan Padgett, the response is much deserved after a job well done in Afghanistan.

To see the support the community shows the National Guard is overwhelming, says Padgett.

While the 742nd will be able to relax with their families for the next month, there is still work to be done overseas.

Currently, there are about a half-dozen units deployed from McEntire Joint National Guard Base with an additional six projected to go to the war zone in the coming year.