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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Nineteen members of a Missouri National Guard medevac unit are back home after a year in Afghanistan.

KOLR-TV reports the soldiers had emotional reunions with family members Thursday during a ceremony at the Springfield-Branson Airport.

One of the 19, Brandon Ruble, says the homecoming was "very surreal" but also "sheer joy." His wife, Jessica, gave birth while he was deployed, and Ruble got to meet his 7-month-old son, Ranson, for the first time.

The soldiers are members of Detachment 3, Company F, 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Medevac Regiment. They arrived in Afghanistan last September and completed more than 400 medical missions, executing 1,600 flight hours for more than 500 patients from U.S., British and Australian forces.

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Information from: KOLR-TV, http://www.kolr10.com

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