Hundreds Welcome Guard Unit Home From Africa
A?South Dakota?National Guard unit arrived home Thursday from a deployment to Africa. Politicians including Gov. Kristi Noem, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, and Sen. John Thune joined the public?to give the unit?a hero’s welcome.?
A crowd of over 700 friends and family gathered to support the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.?The unit spent 10 months working with an?African?task force to promote stability in the country.?The soldiers arrived in the United States from?Djibouti in?eastern Africa.??
Noem?praised the unit.??
“My South Dakota National Guard can do anything,” she said. “They recognize the importance of a safe and secure country, that we have led the nation the last three years in having the best?National?Guard in the country and proving that what we do when we get our missions is that we demonstrate excellence.”?
Capt. Ellen?Bramblee?is one of the soldiers.?She is grateful for a Family Readiness Group?that helped?families of Guard members during the deployment.?
“When you wear the uniform every day and you’re amongst everyone who does the same thing, you often forget how much you’re appreciated from the community and from your family members,” Bramblee said.
“This?experience?here?coming home?with everything that the community and the FRG and everyone has done really reminds you of how humble, how humble it is to wear the uniform.”?
Bramblee?reunited with her family?before?the ceremony.?
First Sgt. Will Hangman came back from his second deployment in the National Guard, after his first in Afghanistan. He is looking forward to?watching his son play baseball.??
“Last time I went, I only had three and a fourth one now, so that part never gets easier, but?yeah?it’s just relieving to come home,” Hangman said. “It’s the right time to get home before the?Fourth?of July, spend the rest of the summer with the family.”??
Hangman?was also?looking forward to air conditioning after working?in?extreme heat.?
About 190 soldiers were honored?during the ceremony at?Augustana University.?