Posted: Sep 21, 2013 10:16 PM by Dax VanFossen - MTN News
KALISPELL - There were very few dry eyes at the Glacier International Airport in Kalispell Saturday as the 495th National Guard unit returned home after more than nine months in Afghanistan.
Reporter Dax VanFossen says family and friends were on hand early, and even Gov. Steve Bullock made the trip to the Flathead to welcome home the troops.
It was back in November of last year that little Kimberly Breitbach said a tearful goodbye to her mom - Captain Jennifer Breitbach, but today was a different story.
The 495th arrived just after 1 p.m. to welcoming arms of friends and family, and Capt. Breitbach was finally with her daughter after 10 months.
"It's pretty unbelievable. It's hard to really take it all in at one time. This is my second deployment, so this is second time I've done this. But the first time with a little girl, and I'm just thankful to have my husband John here to take care of her and it's just exciting," Capt. Breitbach told us.
Kimberly and Jennifer and so many other families were reunited Saturday, and that's one of the reasons why Montana Gov. Bullock made the trip to Kalispell.
"You know I got to visit the 495th in Afghanistan, in Kandahar, thank them for their service, and now to get to see them come home, to families that you know....sons and daughters that have missed football games and things, not having dad there, it's a great homecoming, and it's great to have them back here," Gov. Bullock said.
There were too many homecoming stories to tell them all, but just one more thought from Sergeant Jeffery Lemoraux.
"Yeah, we've been missing Montana everyday. My office was filled with pictures from Montana, and home - and everybody came in and we just loved seeing Montana."
The 495th had been serving in Afghanistan since December of 2012, and fortunately, they will get to be home for Christmas this year.