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Tribune Editorial: Welcome home to our area soldiers

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery are returning home Friday or later this weekend, ending their 12-month deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Welcome home to all the soldiers of 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery.

The soldiers of Battery B based out of Olivia and Madison are expected to arrive around 10 a.m. Friday. Their procession will come into Olivia via U.S. Highway 212 and proceed on Ninth Street to the BOLD High School.

The soldiers based in Madison will proceed out of Olivia and continue on Highway 212 to Madison.

The soldiers of Battery C based in Morris and Ortonville are expected to come home Friday or Saturday. Upon their arrival, the Battery C's procession will come into Morris on State Highway 28, then turn at the U.S. Highway 59 bypass, and then go on state Highway 9 through the main street of the town. The procession will continue to the Morris National Guard Armory for a private meeting with family members. The soldiers, family and public are then invited to the Morris PE Center at the University of Minnesota for a public gathering.

The soldiers will have completed medical and administrative processing at Fort McCoy, Wis., before their return to Minnesota.

These units have made some notable accomplishments during their tour. Those include completing 591 combat missions traveling more than 1.9 million miles without accident or injury; sustaining a 99.63 percent operational readiness rate during their deployment; receiving the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Award; and conducting 127 soldier reenlistments while deployed.

Most importantly, to their families and communities, these soldiers are returning home safely.

All of west central Minnesota is happy to see your return. Thank you for your service to your country and communities.

Welcome home!