National Guard welcomes soldiers home from Afghanistan - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

National Guard welcomes soldiers home from Afghanistan

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By: Brittany Paris

Tom Golden has been deployed six times as a member of the National Guard.

His latest deployment sent him to Afghanistan as the commander of Agribusiness Development Team No. 4, or ADT No. 4.

"I think we did a lot of good things there," he said.

The team of about 10 Guardsmen left last January to help Afghan farmers redevelop their agricultural infrastructure.

"It's been a challenging year, but it's been a good year," Golden said.

And on Thursday, that year came to an end.

ADT No. 4 proudly returned home to Lincoln, welcomed by the National Guard, friends and family.

"It's fantastic, you know. It's great to be home. Families, friends, colleagues are all here, so it's great to be back here in Nebraska," Golden said.

His family says this past year has been just as hard on them.

Golden and his wife, Denise, have been married for 28 years.

She says when she saw him walk in, it was like seeing him for the first time, butterflies and all.

"Today's the end to a very, very long journey," she said. "Now I have my partner back. I have my friend back. I have my hero back."

Michael and John, Golden's sons, say now that their dad is home, it's as if he never left.

"Just sitting through school like yeah I don't want to be here right now," John said.

"I couldn't really concentrate much," Michael agreed.

They even sang the National Anthem to start the welcome ceremony.

And Golden was called up to the podium, he thanked his team.

He says he's really proud of the group, but is thankful he can celebrate Christmas with his family.

"I haven't done any shopping though, so I better get on it," he joked.

The family has plans to celebrate Christmas in Florida.


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