LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Sixty-four members from the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived home on Saturday, just in time for the holidays.
The Louisiana National Guardsmen returned by bus to the 3-156th Infantry Battalion armory in Lake Charles after completing their demobilization training in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
Most of the soldiers served for almost a year in Iraq, where they were responsible for various missions, including providing security and interacting with local Iraqi military personnel.
Neil Conner was reunited with his son, Army Specialist Kade Conner.
"It's been a long year…a long year," said the elder Conner. "We're very happy to have him home now."
"It was pretty exciting to know I was going to be back for Christmas," said Specialist Conner. "At first, we weren't sure we were going to make it back in time."
The soldiers were part of a deployment of 3,000 troops to Iraq.
For most of them, this was their second tour of duty.
According to an army spokesman, local soldiers will continue returning to Lake Charles each day until Wednesday.