Homecoming for last Delaware Guard soldiers in Afghanistan (video)

 Ryan Ratledge hugs his son after serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan for nearly a year.(Gene Ashley/WHYY)

Ryan Ratledge hugs his son after serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan for nearly a year.(Gene Ashley/WHYY)

It was the second deployment for Daniel Boone of Dover, but the first since the birth of his daughter. 

Now stateside, Boone is looking forward to getting out of the uniform and finally being able to relax with his young family.

“We’re all very excited, as you can see from her face,” Boone said on Tuesday. “This is the ultimate high: to finally be back on U.S. soil and back in Delaware.”

On a day when millions of Americans will cheer on the U.S. soccer team, hundreds welcomed home a team of Delaware soldiers returning from Afghanistan to the First State.

About forty members of the 150th Engineer Company of the Delaware National Guard are back from nearly  a year of service in Afghanistan. The company was tasked with helping to dismantle and to consolidate American assets in Afghanistan in order to prevent their use by other forces in the country.

The soldiers represent the final group of Delaware Guard members deployed to that region. 

“Welcome home engineers, welcome home,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard during their homecoming ceremony. “You’ve added another chapter to the storied history of the Delaware citizen-soldier.” 

Once the troops were dismissed there were hugs, handshakes and plenty of tears all around as family and friends welcomed them back.

“I’m just glad to be home with my son, I’ve missed my son a lot,” said Ryan Ratledge, a member of the 150th. “You know, Skype didn’t always work that well when we were over there. I’m just glad to finally see him.”

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