After 48 hours of travel, seventeen Minnesota National Guardsmen on leave from Iraq arrived at MSP at 11:20 p.m. on July fourth. In the spirit of Independence Day, four “dedicated” AFSC volunteers joined the director to make sure the guardsmen were greeted with applause and patriotic gift bags filled with Minnesota treats. Unfortunately, seven guardsmen (from Duluth, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Watertown, Bismarck, Fargo and Helena) missed their connecting flight. But even in their disappointing situation, they were grateful to the AFSC for a place to shower and sleep.
Several local television news outlets eagerly awaited the guard’s arrival. However, bad weather in Dallas delayed their and many other flights, which was well past the 10 p.m. news deadline. A special thanks goes out to Teri & Elizabeth Wold, Dean & Marilyn Greethurst, American Airlines, the TSA and the Airport Police for the assistance in making sure 17 National Guardsmen received a warm Minnesota welcome home.