Soldiers Welcomed Home 

There were lots of tears and cheers, hugs and kisses, Thursday afternoon in Bangor.Sixty-two Maine Army National Guard Infantry Soldiers returned home from Afghanistan.Meghan Hayward was there.One-hundred and fifty-seven members of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry Unit spent nine months in Afghanistan, where they conducted combat infantry operations against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces.Sixty-two of those members arrived back in Bangor.”Oh it’s just wonderful. We’re so happy and so proud of him. So glad that they all made it home safely. We’re just really proud of him and thankful.”For many, they say this is the best Christmas present.”It’s going to be a very happy Christmas this year. Her birthday is actually the 20th, so it’s going to be really good. Very happy, a lot of family I’m sure.””Just exciting. Glad to be home.”Specialist Zachary Farrington from Jay says being able to embrace his wife and children is the best feeling.He and his wife have a newborn.”He’s grown. He’s huge now.”Other members of the unit will be arriving at Bangor International Airport from Camp Atterbury, Indiana in the next two weeks.All the soldiers who left on this mission returned home safely.”It’s jubilation for everyone associated with the Maine Army National Guard. For a unit to deploy and do a dangerous mission like they did and bring everybody home reflects their readiness when they left, the training and leadership they had while they were in the country.”All of the soldiers will complete medical screenings and paperwork before returning to their families.A Freedom Salute Ceremony will be held for them on January seventh.