Hundreds of people gathered at the Dena'ina Center in Downtown Anchorage to welcome Alaska Army National Guard soldiers with B Company, 1-143rd Infantry Airborne Regiment, home from a deployment to Afghanistan.
More than 120 soldiers were honored for the work they have done overseas, as well as the sacrifice of giving up a year at home to serve their country.
The Crow Creek Pipes and Drums opened the ceremony with bagpipe music. Ceremonial music including the national anthem and Alaska's state song were performed by the Alaska Brass Air Force Band of the Pacific.
Members of B Company, based in Bethel, initially returned to the U.S. on Nov. 8. They arrived in Indianapolis before returning to their homes in Alaska, but hadn't seen each other since until the welcome-home ceremony.
Tamara Reid was glad to have her husband back home so he could catch up on "all the little kid things: walking, potty-training, all the fun stuff."
Three Bronze Stars, one Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal were awarded at the event. The families at home during the deployment were also thanked for their sacrifice.
Part of the ceremony was the uncasing of the 143rd's flag, marking a moment of particular significance to the company.
"The accomplishment of a mission: when we uncase those colors, it means mission done," said Sgt. Nicholas Phillips. "We brought everybody home."
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