Wyoming Army National Guard returns from Kosovo

WYOMING – It was an odd welcome home for members of Wyoming’s Army National Guard returning from deployment in southeast Europe. Certainly, no tickertape parades. No cheering crowds or orchestras playing Sousa marches.

Unit C Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment out of Afton arrived back on Wyoming soil last night at the Jackson Hole Airport to a subdued but not forgotten welcome home.

C Company just finished a 9-month deployment to Kosovo. After a two-week mandatory unit quarantine, six members of the Guard wrapped-up demobilization activities in Texas and finally made their way back to their Wyoming homes.

Travel restrictions kept many family members from being there at the airport to welcome home their loved ones. One of the airport’s own—Jackson Hole Airport Board employee Mike Geiling—was among those returning. Airport staff wanted to welcome Geiling and his company home in-person, but they, too, had to practice social distancing

So, C Company was honored with a ‘fire truck salute’ as they exited the airport by vehicle. A fire truck salute is when two fire trucks simultaneously spray arcs of water over an aircraft as it departs. A traditional firetruck salute performed at airports is typically executed when a retiring pilot returns or departs on the last flight of his or her career.

Welcome home, Guard. Thank you all for your service and we are glad to have you back in Wyoming.

Back home. Members of C Company based out of Afton returned after a 9-month assignment in Kosovo. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

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