About 130 reserve soldiers are coming back home from the Middle East on Thursday. The 375th Engineer Company deployed back in November of 2018 and the last time the company deployed was in 2009. Airport officials tell WAAY 31 the soldier's plane will be landing on one of their runways, but they will be exiting the plane at Signature Flight Support. Officials say this will be a very quick welcome home celebration. Lieutenant Matthew Denison said the soldiers left almost a year ago and they were sent to the Middle East to do engineering-related jobs, such as plumbing, electrical work, and construction. Denison said they were helping improve infrastructure in other countries. He said for many of these soldiers, this was their first time being deployed, so they aren't used to being away from their families for so long. Denison told WAAY 31 the return celebration will be very short a there will be military leaders to shake their hands and welcome them home.
"The goal is to expedite the process and get through the meet and greet and get back to their families as quickly as possible," said Denison.
Denison told WAAY 31 the soldiers will be returning home on two different planes that will land this afternoon. He said the soldiers have been preparing to come home for a while now and they are excited to be back with their families.