National Guard Soldiers Honored - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

National Guard Soldiers Honored

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A group of National Guard soldiers returned last week from a 14 month reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan.

 But it wasn't until today that state leaders gave Detachment 42 a formal welcome home. Family members were beaming with excitement. 

Their soldiers are finally home. The ceremony honored not only the guardsmen but their family members as well.

Excitement and pride filled the room. Detachment 42 Operational Support Airlift served with honor. Major General David Sprynczynatyk, addressed the crowd, "It's truly a day of celebration, a day of congratulations and a day of thanks you's"

Soldiers were thanked for their service. Unit commander, Chief Warrant Officer Travis Bridwell was proud of both his unit and family. His sons and wife were honored as well.

Chief Bridwell said, "They've been excited all week. I told them at the beginning of the week, they were gonna get an award. And they've been talking nonstop about their awards."

His wife Tracy, a mobilization officer, was honored for supporting him, and for her work in field. 

"To take care not only of our deployed national guard soldiers, but the other units that were deployed with us," continued Chief Bridewell. 

Governor  Dalrymple, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Representative Kevin Cramer all agreed that North Dakota has the best National Guard in the nation. 

Rep. Kevin Cramer said, "It's not just based on their observations. It's based on real evaluations. You really are the best of the best."

Senator Heitkamp congratulated the children on having such brave parents. 

"The real heroes in this room are your moms and days. They're the real heroes in this room. they're the people you should be so honored to be sitting with," said Senator Heitkamp. 

Officer Tracy Bridwell said, "These are just really neat events. and it's good to see people recognized. I tend to get embarrassed with recite of awards, but, I'm truly honored."

Officer Bridwell says everyone is just happy that her husband and fellow guardsmen are home. 

Detachment 42 Operational Support Airlift  provided aerial assistance  and surveillance for military members on the ground. 

Each solider flew more that 60 hours per month, which is three times more their average.
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