Welcome home local National Guard troops


It’s time to put out the flag and welome mat for a group of local soldiers returning from the war in Afghanistan.

The men and women of the 1432 Engineer Company of the Michigan National Guard, based in Kingsford and Iron River, will return Thursday. Among the group are a half dozen or so residents of the Gogebic Range.

The unit is returning from a nine-month deployment in some pretty treacherous conditions, according to one source.

While the Michigan National Guard would not release the soldiers’ names, a spokesman said the 170 men and women are already back in the country at Fort Bliss, Texas. They will return to the U.P. this week.

They will fly into Sawyer International Airport in Marquette County Thursday before being bused to Kingsford High School for a welcome home ceremony.

It is always great news when soldiers return home and even better news when they arrive safe and sound.

All too often, soldiers return from service to our county and struggle with finding a job or attaining benefits promised to them by the military. According to the Associated Press, veterans are encountering red tape at an all-time high from the Veterans Administration.

U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, spoke about this in his recent visit to Ironwood, saying wait-times for veteran’s benefits are too long and this needs to be dealt with now. We couldn’t agree more. Those who serve our country, defending our freedoms here and overseas, deserve our praise and the honor of that which was promised them.

Welcome home members of the 1432. Thank you for your service. It’s great to have you home.


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