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Oklahoma National Guard Members Return Home From Ukraine

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Soldiers from the 279th Infantry Regiment of the Oklahoma National Guard are home now, just in time for the holidays. 

Friday's welcome home ceremony was tearful, joyful, and an event most will never forget. 

Families have waited for months to see their loved ones and now the time has come.

It's difficult to imagine going six months without seeing the ones you love, but the day wasn't about the sadness of being apart. It's about the joy of being back together. 

"It is such an empty feeling. But what keeps us going is that we pray for his safety every day," said Gracie Monson, Grandmother of one soldier. "We are so glad to have him back. This is my baby boy. He's my oldest grandson."

For these soldiers and their families, six painful months of separation finally came to an end. 

"It's been a long six months. Ups and downs, but it's pretty nice to be home and be back with family in time for the holidays," said National Guardsman Dalyn Monson. 

Friday morning, about 90 members of the Oklahoma National Guard returned home from Ukraine.

The group deployed in May on a mission to provide training support for Ukrainian Forces. 

"One thing with me is that I like to say I do serve my country. I like to be the one that people look up to," Monson said. 

Talk to any of these husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers, and they'll tell you being away for so long isn't easy, but worth it to serve their country.

"Oh I'm excited I'm excited. It's a good experience for him," said Monson's father, Terry.

"All I can say is praise the Lord, he's back home. And he's safe and he's healthy," Gracie Monson said. 

Dalyn Monson said his first priorty now is some good home cooking and his grandmother says she already has a big party planned.

And, it looks like he'll get to be home for awhile. As of right now, there are no plans to send these soldiers back overseas.

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