National Guard soldiers return to Hawaii from Middle East in historic homecoming

Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 6:56 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - No hugs, no kisses, no lei. Just temperature checks and a salute from a distance.

Hundreds of Hawaii Army National Guard soldiers returned to an historic homecoming Wednesday after a year-long deployment to the Middle East.

“This will be most physically distanced reunion ceremony in our history. It’s not ideal, but it is necessary,” said Brig. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi, Jr. “There will be no marching, no formations and only two members from each family will be allowed to attend the event and they will not leave their cars.”

300 soldiers with the First Battalion, 487th Field Artillery touched down at Honolulu’s airport at 5 p.m. from Fort Bliss, Texas.

They were welcomed home with spouting water cannons from state of Hawaii firetrucks and a beautiful rainbow in the mist.

The unit is returning from a year-long deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan where they supported U.S. Forces in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

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