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Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry praises Oklahoma National Guard

Updated:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco Friday praised Oklahoma National Guard troops who helped in hurricane relief.

Blanco says the Oklahomans responded quickly to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina and gave New Orleans residents a much-needed lift. Henry praised the Guard members for their hard work and professional services.

Following Friday afternoon's ceremony at Loyola University, Henry presented Blanco with a slab from the bombed Oklahoma City federal building. Henry says the slab signifies the two state's shared disasters.

The two governors and military officials also planted the Oklahoma state tree, a redbud, on the Loyola campus.

About 1,900 Oklahoma Guard members are still in Louisiana, but are to begin returning home this weekend.

Sergeant Christine Smith of Broken Arrow says most are anxious to get home, but are also pleased they were able to help the city get back on its feet.
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