Warm homecoming for National Guardsmen

By: Ian Hest

For 46 army and air National Guardsmen and their families, Friday was a particularly good Friday. It was a chance to hug loved ones for the first time in nearly a year.

“Just so good to have him back on American soil. Just know that he's safe,” said Emily Crane who's husband is in the National Guard.

The guardsmen were in Afghanistan since last June as part of the second Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT 2, which helped the Afghan government and farmers in their agricultural infrastructure.

Chris Morehouse was able to return in December for the birth of his daughter, but Friday was just the second time he got to hold her in his arms.

“I can't describe it. I'm just so happy. This is what I've been waiting for the past eight months so it's just time to spend time with the family now,” said Morehouse.

Other dads had a bit more fun at their children's expense. Michaela Baack didn't know her father was returning today, making it one of the best surprises she says she's ever gotten.

“When we came to the gate, it said 'ceremony.' Everybody told me I had to sign papers or something,” she said. But dad, like so many who serve our country, was just happy to be home. “It's just so good to be back safe on home ground again,” said Brian Baack, ADT 2.

There are still 12 members of ADT2 that are in Afghanistan. They hope to return in about a month at which point another Nebraska ADT group will head over.