Hawaii-based soldiers greeted by families in homecoming

By Kenny Choi
Published On: Jun 06 2014 11:00:00 PM HST

Loved ones greeted soldiers of the Hawai'i Army National Guard Helicopter Unit CH-47at Wheeler Army Airfield, a sign that the war in Afghanistan is coming to an end.

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -

It was an emotional welcome home for soldiers from Hawaii who were serving in Afghanistan.

Click here to watch Kenny Choi's report.

They're part of a unit that has been deployed three times since 2001 and had no fatalities.  The group of 120 soldiers arrived at Wheeler Army Airfield late Friday evening to see their loved ones.

The Hawaii Army National Guard Helicopter Unit CH-47 serving as part of Operation Enduring Free is the next to last Hawaii National Guard unit that is returning from Afghanistan and their families couldn't be happier to come home.

"What's it like seeing your dad?" asked Kenny Choi.  "Happy.  Misses surfing beach and staying home," said Kailah-Jayden Kaslausky.

"It's good to see everybody home.  It's rough on the family, but try to put it together," said National Guard soldier Martin Kaslausky.

"Now that he has a girlfriend and a new family, I can kind of step back.  But just watching him as well as his girlfriend still kind of hold it together while he was gone.  Very proud of both of them," said Arlene Sandry.

In about a month and a half, the Hawaii National Guard will welcome home its last unit in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, that unit will come home with one less person who died during deployment in this war that has lasted nearly 13 years -- the longest in our country's history.

For these families, they have a lot to be thankful for.

War, Soldiers, Afghanistan

Timeline of the war in Afghanistan

Click here to see the timeline in the war in Afghanistan.

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