A group of Iowa National Guard soldiers from the First Battalion 109th Aviation Headquarters detachment in Boone return to Iowa today (Saturday) after serving on active duty in Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood, a spokesman for the Guard, says they’ve been on active duty since July of last year.He says approximately 40 people make up the unit. It’s a command and control unit that oversees the maintenance of all types of aircraft. Hapgood say Boone has seen its share of send-offs and homecomings. He says the community of Boone has been especially taxed during the deployments. At one point Boone had the highest deployed amount of soldiers per-capita. The number of Iowa soldiers still on active duty continues to drop. He says since the middle of March, more than one thousand soldiers have been welcomed home. There are now around 200 Iowans on duty in Iraq. He says with this group coming home, there won’t be any Iowa soldiers on duty in Afghanistan, but some 700 Iowans from all over the state are training for deployment to Afghanistan. The welcome home ceremony begins at 12:30 today at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Boone.
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