Nearly 130 members of a South Carolina Army National Guard unit based in Summerville have returned home following a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.
A welcome home ceremony was held at Eagle Aviation in West Columbia to mark the return of the S.C. National Guard's 1223rd Engineer Company. The unit had spent about 10 days in Fort Bliss, Texas, for end-of-deployment processing before returning home.
The unit operated in the south and southwestern parts of Afghanistan. Members assisted with the tear-down of bases in support of the troop draw-down. Among other awards, the unit was given six Combat Action Badges and 17 Bronze Stars during the deployment.
"We are proud to welcome home these S.C. Army National Guard heroes from their superb performance supporting operations in southern Afghanistan," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., South Carolina's adjutant general.
The 1223rd Engineer Company was established in 2008.
The unit has about 150 members drawn from all over the state.
In addition to their recent deployment, the unit has built schools in El Salvador, a medical clinic in Honduras and completed more than 30 construction missions around South Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.