One Year Serving the Country in Afghanistan; Soldiers are Welcomed Back to North Dakota
Governor Doug Burgum joined North Dakota National Guard Leaders in a ceremony to honor about 30 soldiers who returned from Afghanistan but also thank their families
FARGO, N.D. — After a yearlong mission in Afghanistan, members of the 191st Military Police Company we’re officially welcomed back home.
KVRR’s Jessie Cohen spoke to some soldiers who say the support from their loved ones was their driving force to keep fighting.
After a year of putting their lives on the line, these soldiers came home just in time for the holidays.
“It was actually wonderful making it home for Christmas so that was probably a benefit especially because of school break so it’s like dad’s home and I actually get to spend time with my dad,” said Sgt. First Class Tyson Mattson, with the North Dakota National Guard.
Just a few months later, they say the feeling of being reunited with family is like no other.
“Once you do it’s like a explosion of emotions that go on,” said Sgt. First Class Travis Sand, with the North Dakota National Guard.
Governor Doug Burgum joined North Dakota National Guard Leaders in a ceremony to honor about 30 soldiers who returned from Afghanistan but also thank their families.
“I have a son. He bad a birthday when I was gone, he’s the light of my life and I just want to say I love him,” Sand said.
“His reaction to our kids was amazing because you know over pictures and over social media you still can only see so much and he finally got to see how much they’ve changed and grown,” said Amber, Tyson’s wife.
And the kid’s reactions to dad’s heroism were not far behind.
“Protect our country.”
Each solider felt a connection to a different moment during the service.
“It’s always great to see the individual solider come across and actually get to shake the governor or the lieutenant’s hand just so they get that one moment where everybody is to recognize them because a lot of soldiers, they don’t ever get recognized,” Sand said.
“The part where I got to give something to my kids and my wife. I mean she held it all together while I was gone so that’s awesome,” Mattson said.
But each speech encapsulated the same message; during good or bad times, support was always nearby from brothers–in–arms.
“From the time that we first get allocated that we are going, through the entire mission and on the way back, the support is phenomenal,” Sand said.
“I’m just happy that the group of guys that we went with, we all came back home and the support chain that we had with us was great I mean can’t do anything better than what we did,” Mattson said.
The soldiers who returned from Afghanistan provided protective service detail and secure transportation while assigned to NATO.