Around 92 soldiers returned home yesterday evening from Afghanistan after another successful tour.

Although the flight was delayed more than 16 hours because of the ash cloud over the Atlantic Ocean, many of the soldiers said waiting that extra while was not difficult.

“It’s no problem, we are used to this, said Lt.-Col. Jerry Walsh. “Many of us have been on numerous missions, so it’s not a big deal when you get delayed a few hours here and there.”

This was Walsh’s fourth time returning home from Afghanistan in only the last two years. He said this last tour was a success because of the transformation the country is going through.

“A lot of things have changed in Afghanistan in the last few months and the troops have done incredible work. It’s a real change in the mission.”

He explained that the change in the mission would have a more direct impact on the local people.

“We now focus more on the population more than anything else. And that has resulted in a real change in Afghanistan. The soldiers have been very proud of what they have been able to do.”

One soldier, Dane Roberts, said it was his first time being deployed in Afghanistan. In the approximately eight-month period he spent there, he said that the changes were clearly visible.

“Things have seemed to have gotten a lot better while we were there,” Roberts said. “There were a lot of things accomplished that were good to see ... and the locals seemed to be very happy with what was going on in their province.”

But even after all that hard work, Roberts is happy to return to Ontario to his parents, sisters and beloved motorcycle.

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