HOMECOMING: Litchfield welcomes National Guard company - New York News

HOMECOMING: Litchfield welcomes National Guard company

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LITCHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) -

They had a dangerous job in Afghanistan, but 94 members of the Minnesota National Guard got a hero's welcome when they returned home from an 11-month deployment on Tuesday afternoon.

In January, the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company came under fire, but every single soldier made it home with their mission accomplished.

"It's crazy. Doesn't seem real," Spc. Tucker Ingenthron admitted. "We just left Afghanistan two weeks ago."

The Litchfield Civic Center was full of love and tears on Tuesday afternoon as the soldiers came back home and back to the arms of their families after nearly year-long deployment.

It was a tense and dangerous assignment to clear routes by helping to locate and dispose of any unexploded ordinance -- like IEDs -- along Afghan roads. Several members of the unit were seriously injured when their forward operating base was attacked in January.

"I was hit with RPG blast in Afghanistan," Sgt. Justin Hattesohl said. "Took shrapnel to my legs, face -- basically the whole left side of my body."

Hattesohl returned to Minnesota in April, but he just learned he needs another surgery on his injured knee. Yet, despite that injury, nothing was going to stop him and his son, Finley, from welcoming his fellow soldiers back home.

"The most important thing is everybody came back alive," Sgt. Robbie Sheets, who was also injured, told Fox 9 News.

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