Hundreds of family and friends—many holding signs and balloons—waited anxiously for the return of their solders from Afghanistan Saturday afternoon at the First Evangelical Free Church. The Missouri National Guard unit had arrived at Lambert Airport around 11 a.m. Saturday morning and was then bused to the church, where they waited out of sight in another room. The crowd burst into applause when the soldiers filed in and took their seats.
The 1138th Transportation Company is based out of Jefferson Barracks. They’ve spent the last year working out of Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, where they ran more than 90 convoy missions to deliver supplies to operating bases. Before returning home, more than a dozen soldiers were awarded the Bronze Star and more than 100 soldiers received the Army Commendation Medal.
The soldiers were welcomed home by several government officials, including Gov. Jay Nixon and Congressman Russ Carnahan.
View the day's homecoming in the above photo slideshow.