National Guard welcomes home 336 Airmen from deployment with special ceremony

A very special homecoming event was held today at the National Guard base right here in Lincoln.

336 Airmen were officially welcomed home from recent deployments overseas. The men and women are part of the 155th Air Refueling unit of the Nebraska National Guard.

The rainy welcome home ceremony honored the airmen and their families. Military leaders such as the Wing Commander, Colonel Hargens, were among those who started off the ceremony.

“Thank you airmen and your families for your service to this great nation,” Hargens said.

Senator Deb Fischer was also in attendance showing appreciation to the men and women as well as their families. 

“You are of vital importance to this country and to this state. you helped us in the disaster, you help keep this country safe,” Fischer says, referring to the Nebraska flooding. 

Three of the airmen were honored during the ceremony with the Bronze Star Medal. The medal is awarded to individuals who distinguish themselves through their achievements and service while serving. One of those medal recipients was Master Sergeant Thomas Thompson.

He and the other two recipients lead engineering projects that resulted in great success. Thompson says he wouldn’t be receiving this honor if it weren’t for his team…

“I could not be happier I greatly appreciate this award and its because of them that I receive it so i take it on their behalf,” Thompson says. 

Colonel Hargens says he’s proud of his team, but isn’t surprised by their success.

“It doesn’t really surprise me we really have the finest airmen  in the total force, its pretty routine for us to win awards and be recognized cause they’re continuously doing great things all around the world,” he says. 

At the end of the day, celebrating the safe return of the men and women who serve was well deserved.

“To see not only the members return and thank their families and just celebrate mission accomplishment and just bringing everybody back home,” Hargens says.

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