Christmas in March - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Christmas in March

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It's been nearly one year since family and friends of the North Dakota Army National Guard's 818th said goodbye.

We expect to announce Thursday morning when they will be coming back to Bismarck.

During the unit's yearlong deployment to Afghanistan--two soldiers were killed in action and one was injured.

Spc. Ian Placek was wounded in a Dec. 3 attack in Afghanistan that killed Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde and Spc. Tyler Orgaard.

Last Tuesday, Placek was in Ft. Bliss Texas to welcome home his brothers in arms with the 818th Engineer Company.

The rest of the Williston-based unit will arrive back home to North Dakota soon.

The Guard soldiers are currently down in Ft. Bliss for demobilization.

For one family--their return will be like a holiday.

Like Christmas in March.

From the outside--You may see some decorations flying high, signifying military support.

But if you step inside this three-star house, you'll see Christmas is actually frozen in time.

That's as the Beechie family waits for their boys to be back home.

A real holiday.

"Their boys" are brothers, 19-year-old Preston, 23-year-old Derek, and 25-year-old Mike, a cousin.

The three of them are so close that two of them switched units to deploy to Afghanistan together.

The Beechie parents didn't want to be on camera until the homecoming, but you might recognize Linda.

The last time we saw her, she was sending her love into the air.

It's been almost one year since their emotional sendoff.

Although their homecoming is soon-- It will be bittersweet for everyone.

Two members of the National Guard family will not get to greet their loved ones with a hug.

So while the Beechie's await their family reunion with stockings, and presents, they plan to finally celebrate Christmas.

A gift that is not received without remembrance of the fallen.

Linda and Bruce Beechie say they are grateful for the National Guard and feel blessed to be a part of it.

We will have much more on the 818th unit's return to town when it is announced.

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