Iowa National Guard soldiers return home after deployment in Kosovo

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa National Guard soldiers reunited with their families Thursday after nearly a year of overseas service.

Members of the 113th Cavalry touched down at Des Moines International Airport following a ten-month deployment in Kosovo. Loved ones filled a hangar to welcome them home, many of whom made signs to stand out in the crowd.

“We are so ready, we just want to hug him,” said Lori Zahnd, the wife of SGT Rob Zahnd. “It was hard and it was stressful, but I have my kids with me.”

“We’re probably going to cry tears of happiness,” said Kim Hall, the mother of SSGT Colin Hall. “We’re glad he’s safe and sound.”

CPT Alexander Keller had never been deployed before this tour of duty. He said thoughts of his family and this reunion kept him going through the tough times in Kosovo.

“They missed me and they were happy to see me,” Keller said. “Words escaped me when I met up with them at first. To come back and be able to see our families, it’s beyond words. It’s excellent.”

Other members of the 113th Cavalry will arrive at the Sioux City Airport on Friday, and the rest will touch down in Des Moines on Saturday.

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