Today is a day to honor the Veterans of our country, whom we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be adequately repaid. They, along with their families, sacrifice so much to protect the freedoms that are so easy to be taken for granted. On Sunday night, four ND Soldiers were reunited with their families after a lengthy deployment in Afghanistan, making this Veterans Day resonate just a little bit more in our community.

1st Sgt. Russell Garrett, Staff Sgt. Nathan Doll, Sgt. Chris Ternes and Spc. Tara Schwan of the North Dakota National Guard’s Detachment 42 Operational Support Airlift returned safely to Bismarck around 6:30 Sunday evening after deploying to Afghanistan earlier this year. The Guard's Army Aviation Support facility was crowded with family, friends, and other Veterans to honor the hard work and sacrifice made by the Soldiers and their families for the better part of 2013. Governor Jack Dalrymple was also on hand to welcome them home:

We are thrilled to welcome home the members of Det. 42 and proud of the outstanding job they did throughout their deployment. These soldiers performed a highly specialized mission and did so with great proficiency and success. We are grateful to them and their families for their extraordinary service and sacrifice, and are happy to have them safely back home with their loved ones tonight.

While overseas, the unit was responsible for providing aerial surveillance and support for military members on the ground. The served alongside fixed-wing detachments from several other states. Together, the units comprised Task Force ODIN, which stands for observe, detect, identify and neutralize.

For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the National Guard. That's more than 4 times the national average. What a testament to the quality of people in our great state.

Two other ND Soldiers returned home Sunday as well. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tyler Bridwell arrived in Grand Forks and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ken Paulus arrived in Fargo.

So to 1st Sgt. Russell Garrett, Staff Sgt. Nathan Doll, Sgt. Chris Ternes and Spc. Tara Schwan, WELCOME HOME. And to all of the Veterans of this great country of ours, as well as their families, we can't say it enough - THANK YOU.

Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck
Townsquare Media-Bismarck

[Source: National Guard North Dakota]