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They've been waiting for this day for more than a year. Nearly 200 Kentucky National Guard soldiers are back in the Bluegrass after a tour of duty in Iraq.

The soldiers of Bravo Battery got a hero's welcome this afternoon during a ceremony in their honor. Family and friends packed the Frankfort Civic Center to greet their loved ones with hugs and tears of joy.

"That is nothing as exciting as today, is it? Welcoming Bravo Battery home," Governor Steve Beshear said at the ceremony.

The 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery Unit returned to the arms of family and friends this afternoon. The 180 soldiers took part in more than 150 combat missions along with other duties in Iraq. All of the soldiers expressed relief at being home finally.

"It's great to be home. With the exception of the birth of my children, this is one of the greatest days of my life," Colonel Michael Giltey.

Not everyone made it back from the mission to Iraq. Two members of 138th died in combat. They are Staff Sergeant Delmar White and Private First Class Sammie Phillips. A dozen soldiers from the unit were injured as well, but all those hurt have returned to Kentucky.

There are currently more than a thousand Kentucky Guardsmen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Matthew Location: Erlanger on May 27, 2010 at 04:20 PM
    We will never forget any of our fallin soldiers PFC Phillips and SSG White.
  • by Anonymous Location: Floyd County on May 5, 2008 at 06:09 PM
    Thanks so much....God Bless You.....
  • by steve Location: irvine on May 5, 2008 at 04:58 PM
    School buses? this page is about heroes my men these are heroes i think of all these guys every day and wish i could be right beside them thanks for protecting us and the country can"t say enough about these guys and gals we salute you all.
  • by Chelsey Location: Flemingsburg on May 5, 2008 at 08:29 AM
    It feels good to have my cousin home...im really thankful of what he has done for all of us. THANK YOU B BTRY 2/138 FA!!!!!WELCOME HOME!
  • by MJ Location: central ky on May 5, 2008 at 08:06 AM
    We will never forget you SSG White..
  • by Al Location: Quincy, KY on May 5, 2008 at 04:25 AM
    Subject: Seat Belts On School Buses -- this would cost the school boards a fortune if installed on current buses. Could be required on all new buses purchased from this point on.
  • by Bud Location: Lexington on May 4, 2008 at 06:33 PM
    It's a good feeling when your Son makes it home after a year in a combatic and hostile country. It's sad that they lost two members of their unit.
  • by Kentucky on May 4, 2008 at 06:14 PM
    Thank you so much for what you all did for us. We can never give back the time you lost with your famiy. We did miss you and we want to say thank you.


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