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Published January 10, 2012, 08:14 PM

'Welcome Home, We Missed You:' 4 Local Soldiers Back From War

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The last of the 461st Engineering Company of the North Dakota Army Reserve returned home from Afghanistan on Tuesday.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The last of the 461st Engineering Company of the North Dakota Army Reserve returned home from Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Louis Cunzman, Christopher Plante and Clinton Twobulls of Grand Forks and Colten Anderson of Fargo returned home to a warm welcome.

"Can't explain how happy I am. I'm ecstatic. I told him I wouldn't cry, but here they come. Welcome home, we missed you," Natalie Anderson said as she welcomed her brother home.

All four soldiers were gone for one year, and all of them volunteered for the deployment.

"It's just a big relief to be home. All sorts of emotions rolled into one when you see your family again for the first time in a year. See my daughter again. It gets to you a little bit. Just a big relief," returning soldier Christopher Plante said.

"Really good feeling. Really happy to be home. It's been a long time. Missed them both really a lot," returning soldier Louis Cunzman said.

He's especially happy to be home to his baby boy, who was only five months old when he deployed.

"It feels really good to finally have him home and finally be a family again," Cunzman's wife Anna said.

These four are the last of their unit to return under Sergeant Sandra Gessler, who is thrilled to have the last of her troops home safe before she retires at the end of the month.

"These are not only my soldiers but my kids. I've had 18 years in the unit, and it's bittersweet. This is the best end to a career one could have. Welcoming home troops that have been deployed. The end of the war," Sgt. Sandra Gessler said.

The soldiers returned to their families, as well as Minnesota's 9th District American Legion, National Guard members, and representatives for Senator Conrad and Senator Hoeven.

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