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Local National Guard troops return home

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 7:46am  ET

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National Guard soldiers wait to greet those returning from a deployment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

Friends family await troops with bear hugs

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports.

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WASHINGTON - Home for the holidays has a special meaning for dozens of local National Guard soldiers.

For the past 10 months, about 50 soldiers served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

They arrived back at the D.C. Armory Tuesday to loud cheers, colorful signs and bear hugs from loved ones.

"I've been waiting a long time for my husband to come back because I miss him so much when he's gone," says Sherry Mitchell, wiping tears from her eyes.

The D.C. Army National Guard's 372nd Military Police Battalion spent most of the year providing intelligence, logistics and command support at Guantanamo Bay.

Many have deployed previously during a tour of Iraq from July 2005 to April 2007.

"It didn't hit me until I got here," says Sgt. Dawn Austin-Douglas.

After arriving at the armory, the native Washingtonian anxiously waited to see her kids.

"It's going to be awesome and emotional," she says. "But I'm doing everything that I'm doing for them."

There were lots of hugs to go around as the troops returned home. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

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