Over 150 Louisiana Guardsmen will be welcomed home for the holidays tonight. It's a timely gift for members of 1023rd Engineering Company who have been serving in Kuwait for much of 2015. The 156 members of the guard will arrive in Monroe tonight, Christmas Eve, and be home for Christmas.


Captain Ross Bethea of the 1023rd explained to the Louisiana Radio Network the emotions members of his company are feeling.

Man it's the best Christmas present we can ask for. All my troops are excited to see their families and everyone can't wait to get home.

Bethea went on to explain that the mission of the 1023rd was to help build and improve living conditions and facilities for Kuwaiti and allied forces. No members of the company were killed or injured during their tour of duty this past year. This makes Bethea especially proud of his troops. Not only is everyone coming home in time for Christmas but there was a lot of good work done.

I've been in the military for 17 years now and to be able to lead 156 motivated individuals to do such a thing, it's been the most gratifying thing in my life.

The unit is headquartered in Bastrop Louisiana with attachments in Monroe. The soldiers are expected to arrive at Monroe Regional Airport later today.


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