Soldiers Return to Iowa After Serving in Afghanistan

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By Ellen Kurt

JOHNSTON, Iowa —About 60 members of the Iowa Army National Guard returned home Saturday after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The 1034th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion left last August for training at Fort Hood in Texas.

From there, the soldiers were sent to Afghanistan. Their mission included providing transportation, vehicle maintenance, water purification, fuel distribution and other jobs.

Several hundred friends and family welcomed them home at a ceremony inside the Freedom Center at Camp Dodge.

Sgt. Tony Niswander of Ankeny, Iowa, met his daughter for the first time at the celebration. He said he saw his daughter in plenty of pictures on Facebook, but to finally hold her in his hands was an indescribable feeling.

"Olivia is her name and she looks just like her mommy,” Niswander said. “I’ve just got to remember how to change diapers now. That's going to take some training.”

There are now less than 100 members of the Iowa Army National Guard serving in Afghanistan.

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