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130 Maine National Guardsmen return from deployment

The Maine Army National Guard’s “B” Company deployed in March 2021.
Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 5:43 AM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Army National Guard’s “B” company, approximately 130 soldiers, returned to Maine Saturday.

Hundreds of families and friends were eager to welcome them home.

The guardsmen are returning from a 10 month deployment in Africa where they’ve been working to provide security and enhance partnerships in the Horn of Africa region.

The bite of a Maine winter never felt so good as it did today to the Soldiers of Bravo Company 3-172 Infantry - Mountain, with the main body returning home after a ten month deployment to Africa. Senior leaders greeted the Soldiers on the flight line, before marching in to the 195th Maine Army National Guard Band, and the waiting arms of family. During their time overseas, the unit supported Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa as part of Task Force Iron Gray, approximately 1,000 National Guard Soldiers from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Colorado. Bravo Company conducted several missions ranging from two weeks to three months alongside Naval Special Warfare, Marine Special Operations Command, as well as soldiers from Somalia, Uganda, Djibouti and Kenya, strengthening the defense capability of America’s partners in a strategic area of the world. Welcome home, Bravo! Job well done! #AscendToVictory #MEGuardAtWork #AlwaysReadyAlwaysThere 🎥 Sgt. Darin Douin & Maj. Carl Lamb

Posted by Maine National Guard on Saturday, January 22, 2022

One soldiers newlywed wife, Codi Kingsbury was especially ecstatic.

“We got married right before he left and so we are taking our post deployment slash honeymoon in March. I think I’m gonna cry like a baby I’ve been trying to hold back the tears all day,” said Kingsbury.

The Maine Army National Guard band performed during the ceremony.

Signs and flags waved around as they awaited the soldiers arrival.

After a few delays, the soldiers arrived home equally anxious and excited to see their loved ones.

“It’s a great experience. Definitely some new endeavors that we went on but definitely happy to be home,” said Sergeant First Class Nate McCray.

As for the Kingbury’s, the long awaited 10 month embrace, was finally here.

“I’m just so happy he’s home,” said Kingsbury. It’s the best feeling in the world!

No matter how many times a soldier leaves, they tell us deployment is never easy.

But, nothing beats the feeling of coming home to your loved ones.

The soldiers were part of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a multi-state National Guard brigade headquartered in Vermont.

In total, the 86th provided around 2,500 Soldiers to a variety of locations in U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. European Command.vMaine’s soldiers were assigned under Task Force Iron Gray, totaling approximately 1,000 soldiers from Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont, and Connecticut.

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