Home from Afghanistan - Tucson News Now

Home from Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A year doesn't seem like a long time unless there's a couple of small kids at home and they're growing like a weed, just learning to walk and talk.

It's something no parent wants to miss.

But for some of the 37 soldiers, returning back to Tucson after a year's deployment in Afghanistan, that's what happened.

Brian King tried to keep up with his little girl while he was deployed.

"I got a lot of pictures and face time on Skype and all that," he says. But I feel like I a missed a lot."

But now's time to catch up as best he can.

"It's so good to see her," he says.

King is part of the B Company, 1st Battalion, 285th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, which supplies support to the ground troops.

He maintains the Apache helicopters they used, a $16 million sophisticated machine.

In all, the battalion flew 750 missions, nearly 4,000 hours in the air without an accident.

"Just do it right, says Pilot Guy Ballard. When you do it right "everything comes out okay. The bad guys don't walk away and the good guys do."

The battalion provided support in the Western region in Afghanistan, the only Apache helicopter operation in the area.

Which is why they flew so much.

"That's a lot of aviation flight hours," says Major General Hugo Salazar. "That's always a concern.

But "no accidents" he stresses.

Now's the time for the soldiers to assimilate back into the community and one of the ways to do it, is to remember the folks left behind.

They had a mission too, although it might have been a bit different.

Salazar told the soldiers as they were being welcomed back home inside a hanger at the Pinal Air Park, "you should all send your spouse way for the weekend and stay with the kids. Those two days watching you kids, imagine what that's like for a year because that's what they did while you were gone."

It puts it all in perspective.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow