Minnesota National Guard welcomes some troops home, sends others off

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Minnesota National Guard troops are heading overseas, while family and friends welcomed others home.

It was a joint send-off and welcome back ceremony Saturday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Thirty-nine Minnesota National Guard members deployed to Kuwait for nine months.

One service member is going on this third deployment — but it’s his first as a father. Sgt. First Class Eric Pearson says he’s reassured knowing there are resources available to his family through the National Guard while he’s away.

“Because when we get to country, our life gets really mission-based. You’re at work, you’re going forward, you know what you’re doing,” Pearson said.

“Life here is the hard part. You have kids that get sick, you have to go to school, bills that have to be paid. Who’s going to shovel the driveway when you got kids running around the house? So knowing that my wife and kids are taken care of, and that you have stuff, makes it easier.”

Three other Minnesota National Guard units were welcomed home Saturday. They were in Kuwait, Romania, and Cuba.