Families, friends welcome soldiers home

March 7, 2009 4:19:42 PM PST
One hundred fifty soldiers who spent a year overseas received a warm welcome home Saturday.The soldiers are from the 106th Aviation Companies in Peoria, Decatur and Chicago. They were in Kosovo, where they flew more than 430 missions without accidents. They also helped the people of Kosovo by adopting five schools and two homeless shelters.

The soldiers said Saturday they were glad to be back home.

"It's really just awesome to see my parents and my family. So, it'll be good to have real food today," said Sgt. Judith Soto of the Illinois Army National Guard.

"It's fun. It's good to be home. It's definitely great," specialist Roberto Lopez said.

"Spectacular. It's awesome being back with my son, my wife, friends and family," said Specialist Mario Patterson.

Many of the soldiers said they were planning on going back to school or staying in the guard full-time.