Crowd welcomes home guard members after a nearly year-long deployment

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Daniel Loudin-Magnuson is 10-years old. He's been waiting nearly 11 months to see his dad.

"I don't know how to put it. I'm just glad he's home."

Daniel's father is one of the more than 160 members of the Kentucky National Guard's 207th Horizontal Engineer Construction Company who came home after a nearly year-long deployment.

The company, which is based out of Hazard and Jackson, arrived at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington on Thursday afternoon to a large crowd of family and friends.

Sara Fugal said her daughter was only eight days old when her husband left on the mission.

"She's done everything except for take her first steps and we are trying to hold her back so that he can be here for one of those firsts," Fugal said.

The family reunited on Thursday, along with many others who were anxiously waiting to see their soldier march across the lot.

"11 months of emotions bottled up, wondering if they are safe or not, and then being able to see them and know that they are home safe," Melissa Magnuson said.

Commanded by Capt. Brian Ladd, The 207th completed more than 100 work orders and 38 construction projects worth an estimated $9 Million in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom's Sentinel throughout six countries in Central Asia.

"This reputation quickly spread throughout the middle eastern theater to the point that we were asked for by name," Captain Ladd said.

Their mission was primarily focused on road and runway repair, maintenance, drainage correction projects and culvert installation across multiple countries simultaneously.

"The most important achievement is that the entire unit will be returning home safely with no serious injuries," said Ladd.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Kentucky National Guard has mobilized more than 18,000 Soldiers and Airmen in support of the Global War on Terror.