WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 09, 2010, 04:08 PM

ND Soldiers Return In Time for Christmas

Thursday was the first full day back at home for a group of North Dakota soldiers who have just returned from Afghanistan.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

There was the last minute work on welcome signs as family counted the final minutes of a year-long wait to see their soldiers. Tucker Olson was a newborn that last time his father Tyler was home. Mom Cassandra Olson says this will be a happy holiday.

"Really nice that he is going to be home for our son for Christmas. Kind of hoping for that," Olson said.

The familiar cheers and handshakes welcomed the group of 14 soldiers from the North Dakota 1st Battalion 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. A total of 70 soldiers continue to make their way home across the state after their tour in Afghanistan and Iraq came to an end.

The completion of a successful and safe mission does make for a happy homecoming.

"It's awesome, nothing else to say about it. Waiting for this day for an entire year. I still can't believe it," PFC Ryan Spicer said.

That could also be said for Sgt. Tyler Olson, who is finally reunited with wife and his new son who has grown a little.

"Just glad to be home and to see my son Tucker. Just had a son in February and I'm glad to be home with my wife all my family for the holidays," Olson said.