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Editorial: Let's all welcome Charlie Co. back home

Charlie Company of Company C of the 1st Battalion 151st Field Artillery from west central Minnesota is returning home Sunday.

Soldiers from Morris, Madison, Ortonville, Montevideo and Appleton are returning after completing a year-long deployment in Iraq. While in Iraq, they performed security forces missions in Baghdad.

This military unit, as all returning units do, deserves an enthusiastic welcome home.

Charlie Company is returning without three members: Jesse Lhotka of Appleton, Dave Day of St. Louis Park and Jason Timmerman of Tracy , who were all killed in February when a bomb detonated as they aided an injured soldier.

To those three families and to the members of Charlie Company, we again express our sorrow for your loss. We thank you for your sacrifice and your service.

The soldiers of Charlie Company are coming home to a well-deserved welcome.

Charlie Company arrived Tuesday at Fort Dix, N.J. The soldiers will land about 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lindberg Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. The soldiers are scheduled to depart the airport via bus at about 4:45 p.m. and travel west on U.S. Highway 12.

The Charlie Company bus caravan is expected to travel through Willmar at approximately 6:45-7 p.m. Sunday. After reaching Benson, the caravan will travel to Morris, looping through Main Street and then on to the Prairie Inn Best Western, where they will meet their families.

The unit's welcome home ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Physical Education Building at the University of Minnesota-Morris. There will also be a dedication of the Company C KIA Memorial at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Morris TACC.

So if you want help welcome Company C home, find a spot along Highway 12 Sunday evening, cheer the unit as they pass. Or, attend the Welcome Home event Monday in Morris.

It's a small thing we can do for the soldiers of Company C.