Nearly 200 Wisconsin soldiers return home from deployment in Afghanistan

Wisconsin Soldiers Return Home From Afghanistan
Nearly 200 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment returned to Wisconsin Aug. 14 after completing a deployment to Afghanistan. Roughly half the battalion returned in April and June as part of a planned troop drawdown.
Wisconsin National Guard photo by Pfc. Sylvia Christensen

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — About 200 soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry returned home Friday after a year-long mobilization to Afghanistan.

A traditional homecoming ceremony was not possible due to coronavirus restrictions, so a group of senior leaders from the Wisconsin National Guard greeted the soldiers when their plane landed in Eau Claire.

“You have done a phenomenal job,” Lt. Col. Aaron Freund, commander of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment said. “You have all become American heroes and are part of something special. As your commander, I thank you for the privilege of watching you perform.”

After getting off the plane, the troops boarded buses that took them to armories in Menomonie, Arcadia, River Falls and Eau Claire where their families waited for them to return.