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SC troops reunited with their families after almost a year overseas

After 9 months away on the other side of the world, South Carolina Nation Guard troops are finally home, just in time for the holidays.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — SC National Guard Troop 133 returned home Friday to Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The 130 troops were stationed in Kuwait but worked missions in eight surrounding countries as well. These troops worked customs and protected billions of dollars in military equipment overseas for nine months. 

Adjutant General, Van McCarty, says these men and women were crucial to helping with what was called operation spartan shield.

"They did customs work which is a little bit different for them," McCarty said with a smile. "They performed over 2,700 missions, processed over 19,000 personnel, and put their hands on and accounted for over $9 billion worth of equipment."

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However those nine months the troops were overseas felt like forever for Hunter and Carrie Bair.

"We've been married for 10 years, and we've never been apart this long," Carrie said. 

Hunter says his time away made him remember one very important thing. 

"Don't take any of the time you have together for granted, because even 10 years before this wasn't enough time for us," the soldier said.

Mom, Kimberly Jordan was at the airport waiting for her son to come home. She said she was happy to have him back just in time for the holidays.

"I'm so thankful," Jordan said through tears. "This is the best Thanksgiving ever."

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Although their hearts lie in service to our nation, these troops say home is where the heart is, and they could not be happier to be back again.

All of the troops on this particular mission returned home safely. As for national guard troops in general, they get called for deployment about every one to two years and are normally stationed at their deployment for six to 15 months. 

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