For dozens upon dozens of troops returning from Afghanistan yesterday, there truly was no place like home.
Approximately 240 Canadian soldiers, from Edmonton and throughout Canada, returned home following a 10-month tour.
Members of Task Force 5-09 were the headquarters element that commanded all Canadian troops in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Led by Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance, all were glad to be home and proud of their mission. A flight delay added to the anticipation for those awaiting the return from Afghanistan. The troops deplaned at Edmonton International Airport before taking a convoy through the city to the Edmonton Garrison.
“It’s 10 months since we left and I said we were going to give it our all and I believe we did,” Vance said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team that went and served in Afghanistan, on your behalf and on behalf of all Canadians.
“So we are very happy to be back and looking forward to seeing our families again. Taking a bit of time off before serving Canada again in some other way.”
The tone was set by background music was one of camaraderie and delight as soldiers eagerly awaited the convoy to depart from the airport bringing them to friends and family. Soldiers echoed Vance’s mood, but seemed aware of the challenges facing them upon their return.
“Getting used to seeing familiar faces, family, friends, and going home,” said Mitchell Callahan, a returned soldier. “And the weather for sure, it’s a lot colder here.”