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Bittersweet homecoming for National Guard troops - abc27 WHTM

Bittersweet homecoming for National Guard troops

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were welcomed home at Harrisburg International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Around 3:30 p.m., their plane touched down at Harrisburg International Airport amid plenty of fanfare.

Aboard the plan were over 30 members of the 104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. They were returning following nearly a year in Afghanistan.

After walking off the tarmac, they were greeted by family and friends.

However, along with the warm embraces, the sea of signs and flags there was a palpable sadness.

Two members of the unit were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in April.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner, 34, of Harrisburg, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, died while piloting an AH-64 Apache Helicopter during a reconnaissance mission when their aircraft crashed.

"They are always in our hearts," guardsman Jordan Alwine from Lebanon said.

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