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      SC Guard unit returns after 7-month deployment

      COLUMBIA, S.C. WACH,(AP) -- About 400 members of a South Carolina Army National Guard aviation unit are returning home after a seven-month deployment to Iraq and Kuwait.

      Members of the 1/151st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion return to Columbia Friday. The unit is headquartered at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.

      The unit left in May for four months of training at Fort Hood, Texas, and then deployed to Iraq. As U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in December, the soldiers shifted to Kuwait.

      In Iraq, the unit flew AH-64D Apache helicopters on reconnaissance missions for military units moving in and out of the country. While in Kuwait, the unit flew reconnaissance missions along the coast and trained with members of the Kuwaiti Air Force.

      Battle Capt. Robert Wells was overjoyed with emotion.

      "A little bit overwhelmed. I don't think reality has set in yet that I'm back home. My wife has the most difficult job in this whole ordeal. And if it wasn't for her support, there is no way I could make it through such a difficult year."

      The unit is not scheduled for any more deployments for at least the next two years.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

      (Copyright 2012 by

      The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)