ST. CLOUD -- Tears, hugs and smiles flooded the parking lot at the St. Cloud Armory Tuesday as nearly 160 soldiers were reunited with their families.

The Minnesota National Guard's 851st Vertical Engineer Company returned from a nine-month long deployment in Kuwait.

During the deployment, soldiers completed construction projects to support military units in several countries. Some of these countries include Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Afganistan.

The Company's Commander Captain Brandon Johnson, thanked every soldier before they were able to meet with their families...

"Thank you for all of your hard work for the last 10-11 months, you guys have been outstanding. As you get home here make sure you guys be safe, we have different weather, different conditions. I know you guys are excited to get back, take it slow, take it easy, if you need anything let us know."

The average age of the soldiers deployed was 27-years-old. Meanwhile, the oldest soldier was 55-years-old and 14 of the soldiers were women.

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