More than 100 troops return to Huntsville - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Troops return to Huntsville following Afghanistan tour

The 11-51st Engineer Company returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. (Source: WAFF) The 11-51st Engineer Company returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. (Source: WAFF)

More than 100 National Guard members returned home to Huntsville tonight.

The 11-51st Engineer Company is returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The unit of about 140 men and women will fly into Huntsville International Airport at 7 p.m. before heading to the armory.

The soldiers' dismissal wasn't quite the starched military sendoff, as overjoyed relatives made it a joyous party.

Members of the 11-51st were deployed for nine months, and their homecoming made for a passionate scene.

"Excited... happy... relieved," were the words mother Shannon Lacey could muster. She admitted it has been a rough few months waiting for her son, Colton.

"Constant worry - if he's going to come home, if he's got food, if he's safe," Lacey said.

Charles George saw it from a special perspective. He welcomed his son Mikhail, just as Charles himself came home from his own tour of Iraq.

"Today is a joyful day," George said. "Tears, happiness, sadness - everything."

Commanders said some of the service people may need help adjusting to life back at home, and if they do, they've got it.

"When you have that kind of support, it makes it really easy," assured Captain Matthew Lee.

Corey Pilgrim has more support now than when he left. His son August was born while he was deployed, and he saw him for the first time Tuesday night.

"It's such a big deal," said Corey's wife, Haley. "I can't believe it's finally ending."

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