Emotional homecoming for soldiers returning from Kuwait

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More than 300 Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers returned home from a deployment to Kuwait to their home armories in Allentown, Harrisburg, Lewisburg, Lock Haven, Philadelphia, Scranton and Williamsport, on Tuesday.

“This is his third tour so we are all happy about that,” said Doris Salisbury as she hugged her son Sgt. Brandon Salisbury.

“I’m happy to be home. I am actually getting ready to go surprise my wife,” said Sgt. Salisbury.

“It’s good to have him home, not only him but everybody else. I’m very proud, he just earned his Sergeants stripe over there,” said Stephen Salisbury of his son. “We’re going to socialize and be a family. We’re definitely going to have a get together for him. All I can say is I’m proud of them, all of them!”

“I forgot how tall he is because I am so used to all of us being so short,” said Christina Byers. She hasn’t seen her husband Sergent Douglas Byers in a year. “Last night we couldn’t sleep we were so nervous. Now I’m just ready to go home and finish what I started before he left.”

This is Sgt. Byers second deployment.

“It sucks. I mean you kind of create your own family with the guys you’re with, but you definitely miss your wife, your kids, your parents, your brothers, your sisters,” said Sergent Douglas Byers. “When you’re there for a mission you just kind of suck it up and move on. Now I’m happy! I just want to go home and relax and forget about the past year.”

The soldiers, the third group of the 55th Armor Brigade to return home, conducted security in support of Middle East military operations.

This is the third of several groups from this organization; The next group is scheduled to arrive mid to late next week. Guard members from a variety of other units are also scheduled to return over the next several months.