Guard company gets hero's welcome Sunday

Eighty members of the

Missouri Army National Guardâ??s

2175th Military Police Company returned to Hannibal Sunday.

Their return came after a year-long deployment to the Middle East. Sunday's welcome home included hundreds of family and friends at the Hannibal-LaGrange University Sports Auditorium.

"I'm just excited to see him. He's been gone way too long and I'm proud of him," Tammy Jeans said. "I was scared for him being over there, being so far away in another country."

Sgt. Adam Wood knows too well the feeling of being in another country. He's deployed overseas twice.

"Relief, excitement, you just want to get off the bus and kiss the ground. It's definitely a great feeling," Wood said.

It was especially great for Jeans' son, Channing Gibson. During his deployment, Gibson's daughter, Audrianna, was born.

"He's only gotten to see her for two weeks since she's been born," Dakota Blackburn, Gibson's fiance said. "It's just very hard. It's my first time to be a mom and doing it by myself is very hard, but it's worth it."

"It's great, I've been waiting a long time for this," Gibson said. "I was excited when we flew over and when we got out of Camp Shelby and got on the bus, I was excited, but the closer I got, the happier I was."

The soldiers will be home for 90 days before they have to return to service.

The 2175th was part of a security deployment of about 450 Missouri Guard Soldiers to


, a central staging and recreation area for all U.S. Troops in the Middle East. During the deployment, the soldiers fell under the command and control of the 175th Military Police Battalion, based in Columbia.

In addition to providing base security at

Camp As Sayliyah

, near the capitol city of Doha, soldiers of the 2175th also provided military police for a quick reaction force, for roving patrols, and maintained sentry posts. The Soldiers were also able to participate in additional training both in Qatar and nearby Kuwait.

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