Minn. soldiers who taught Afghan Army return home

Published 9:29 am Friday, April 5, 2013

MONTICELLO — A Minnesota National Guard unit that’s spent a year training and coaching the Afghan National Army has returned home.

As expected, it was an emotional reunion for 120 soldiers and their families Thursday afternoon in Monticello. Hundreds of family members and friends filled the Monticello Community Center holding signs and flags.

Dozens of others lined the streets of the community as police officers escorted three busloads of soldiers from the 257th Military Police Company through town. School children held flags and chanted “USA.”

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For Army Capt. Troy Hyland it was more than a reunion, it was the first time he met his new daughter, 9-month-old Isabella. The Hylands have two other children, 10-year-old Sophia and 7-year-old Ben.