Army National Guard soldiers to return home for the holidays

By WEEK Producer

December 13, 2013 Updated Dec 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. – A group of Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers who served in Afghanistan will return home to Peoria just in time for the holidays.

Approximately 60 soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 238th General Support Aviation Battalion in Peoria will return home Saturday to a homecoming ceremony at 12 p.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility #3.

The unit was mobilized in January and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The aviation unit includes members from across Illinois.

While deployed, the 238th flew CH-47 Chinook helicopters for heavy helicopter air movement and air assault missions. It was also in charge of re-supply operations and aviation maintenance support. The unit moved personnel and cargo across the battlefield to decisive points at critical times.

"I cannot speak highly enough of this company and its Soldiers," said Maj. Clarence Pulcher of Morton, Ill., commander of the 238th. "We executed all of our missions without fail and without a single serious accident."

The company flew more than 3,100 combat hours, moving more than 14,000 people and three million pounds of cargo during its rotation.

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