About 175 soldier engineers with the Oregon Army National Guard's 1249 Engineer Battalion are home in time for Christmas following a year-plus deployment to Afghanistan.

Approximately 50 soldier engineers returned to the Salem Municipal Airport on Thursday, Dec. 8, with the remaining 125 arriving at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12,

The battalion, which includes soldiers from Troutdale and Gresham, deployed to Afghanistan for a 400-day mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom more than a year ago. During that time, the soldier engineers made roads and helped construct buildings, including an orphanage, improving the infrastructure throughout eastern and northern Afghanistan.

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