After being away from home for a year, Idaho Army National Guard soldiers returned home to a warm welcome despite the chilly temperatures. Nearly 100 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team soldiers arrived home in Boise and were greeted by community members and their families. The soldiers had been deployed to support Operation Spartan Shield in Southwest Asia.

The soldiers spent time stateside in Fort Bliss, Texas, before coming home to Boise. The Idaho Army and Air National Guard units are some of the most active guard units in the country. It is common to have Idaho units on deployment, gearing up for deployment, or returning from deployment at any time. You may recall those other members of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team recently deployed to Southwest Asia. 

All smiles
Photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur Idaho Army National Guard / DIVIDS

An effort to send the deployed soldiers a gift box before the holidays is underway. You can read how you can help them here. Their efforts did not go unnoticed as they were welcomed home.

“These Soldiers embody what the National Guard is all about: citizen-Soldiers who serve their nation when called upon and return home to their families and communities,” said Brig. Gen. Farin Schwartz, commander, Idaho Army National Guard. “It’s an honor to welcome these Soldiers home and I thank each one of them for their service and dedication to our state and nation. For 10 months, our Soldiers deterred enemy aggression in a very hostile environment, symbolizing our nation’s commitment to our global partners and allies.”

What is Operation Spartan Shield?

Operation Spartan Shield is part of Operation Enduring Freedom under the operational control of the United States Central Command. The mission involves training, security, and other activities in Iraq, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, and Qatar. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is part of Task Force Griz.

The 116th CBCT was previously deployed in support of the Global War on Terror in 2004 and 2010 in Iraq. As you may recall, KIDO Talk Radio's Kevin Miller was embedded with the unit during its 2010 deployment. The unit had the honor and responsibility of being the last American unit in command of NATO facilities before turning control over to the Iraqi Military.

Check Out Idaho Families Welcoming Home Deployed Soldiers

These Photos will melt your heart!

Top 10 Most Common Fast-Food Restaurants in Idaho

Are You Breaking Idaho Law By Sleeping In Your Car?

Let's take a look at the places where you're legally allowed to sleep in your car in Idaho... and where it could get you in trouble.

More From Idaho’s Talk Station