Three-hundred-50 Iowa National Guard troops came home this weekend, greeted by special homecoming events in five towns. The soldiers have given a year of their lives to Operation Noble Eagle, the homefront arm of the current war on terror, but Guard spokesman Major Ed Graybill says these troops have earned valuable credit toward their eventual retirement. Typically, he says they’ll have about 30 days a year of active duty, two weeks of guard camp and a drill on weekends, but after being on duty for a year they’ll get almost 360 more “active duty days” which will make a significant difference in their retirement pay. While the troops are now done with their active-duty assignment, Graybill points out these people aren’t done with their service in the Guard. They won’t have to drill again for 60 days as they’ve built up some leave time, and many will take a vacation before they return to drill again. It’s the first time the entire First Battalion, 194th Field Artillery has been called to active duty since the Korean War.
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