818th Engineer Company Back In United States - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

818th Engineer Company Back In United States

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A group of North Dakota Soldiers have landed on American Soil.

Just before 8:00 p.m. tonight, the 818th Engineer Company landed in Fort Bliss Texas.

The unit left last April for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan to clear mines, build roads and perform maintenance.

"It's great when we can welcome home, especially a group like this, well led, well trained but a very dangerous mission, out there everyday trying to find IED's to keep the roads safe for everyone else, so a dangerous mission, well executed," Deputy Adjutant General, Al Dohrman said.

100 soldiers deployed in April, but tonight only 97 return home.

In December St. Darren Linde and Specialist Tyler Orgaard were killed when a roadside bomb exploded, hitting their vehicle.

A third soldier, Specialist Ian Placek was injured in that explosion, and greeted the soldiers tonight when they arrived in Texas.

Deputy Adjutant General Al Dohrman says it's bittersweet welcoming home the 818th, but it's also a reminder of how dangerous their mission was.

"So it's great to have them home but it reminds us of the sacrifice of Sgt. Linde and Specialist Orgaard, we keep their families in our hearts and prayers all the time and we must never forget their service," Dohrman said.

Dohrman says it could take up to two weeks for the unit to demobilize in Texas before returning to North Dakota.

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