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"It feels great," says SSgt. Stephen Albanese. "I'm so excited. It's emotional."
These families wait to reunite, cheering as they're one step closer to their loved ones.
"It's great to see all the support and feel how appreciated we are," says Albanese.
Gone 7 months of a 9 month deployment, these soldiers are home early, but counting down the days, all 211 of them. This day can't come soon enough.
"It's been a long time coming and I really appreciate him so much more and I'm so grateful that he's home and I'm so happy now," says SSgt. Albanese's wife Deborah.
The troops march into the hangar as part of their ceremonial welcome. Music, pictures and excitement before the moment they've been looking forward to.
"I haven't seen my baby since she was 6 months old," says Ssgt. Albanese.
It's excitement coupled with knowing over 260 of the soldiers they deployed with are still in Afghanistan.
"It's kind of bittersweet because I left so many folks engaged in the mission, but I also get to come home and rebuild and enjoy time with the family," says Battalion Commander Benjamin Bahoque.
Their arrival home comes as 2 U.S. troops were among those killed in an early Monday firefight after a police officer in Kabul reportedly opened fire on U.S. and Afghan forces. Commander Bahoque says this group's mission was to provide maintenance for all of the helicopters flying in the country. It's his 3rd deployment, the first to bring him home to his family sooner than later.
"You worry about them when they're over there," says Commander Bahoque's wife Teresa. "You just want everything to go smoothly."
"We're with a great group of guys and we're like family out there, but there's nothing like this," says SSgt. Albanese.
Commander Bahoque says the remaining troops in the battalion will continue coming home in phases at the end of April.
Monday, March 11 2013, 11:05 PM CDT
2 appellate court judges are stepping down
May 24, 2013 21:29 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Two Tennessee appellate court judges have notified Gov. Bill Haslam that they will not run for another term on the bench in the August 2014 retention election.
Patricia J. Cottrell, a judge on the Court of Appeals, and Joseph M. Tipton, who sits on the Court of Criminal Appeals bench, will both leave after September of next year.
The announcements come after the state legislature left Tennessee without a way to replace judges who step down or die when a commission expires at the end of next month.
Members of the soon-to-be-defunct Judicial Nominating Commission will make recommendations for replacements to give to Haslam before the panel expires. Haslam will appoint the replacements from those recommendations.
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for military and civilian aircraft and an increase in business investment.
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Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.