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Troops headed home, dates still undetermined

submitted photo Taken at the Red Square entrance at Camp Patriot in Kuwait, members of the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery B Battery from Windom include Sgt. Randall Henry, Spc. Coleman Ling, Pfc. Trevor Easterday, Spc. Lee Glidden, Staff Sgt. Steve Mau, Spc. Dustin Martin and Sgt. Terry Thompson. The photo of the Windom soldiers was requested through the military by American Legion Post 206 Commander Babe Crowell.

WINDOM -- Minnesota Army National Guard soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery are heading home to southwest Minnesota, but the exact dates of their homecoming are undetermined as of yet, according to a military spokesperson.

Stationed in Kuwait, the troops have been part of operation New Dawn, a drawdown phase of the U.S. military operations in Iraq.

They arrived in Kuwait in the summer of 2011 after officials announced in January of that year the second largest deployment of the Minnesota National Guard since World War II.

There are three major units in the 1-125 FA, including Headquarters Battery in New Ulm, A Battery in Pipestone and Luverne, and B Battery in Jackson and Fairmont.

Soldiers from 1-125 FA represent 178 communities throughout Minnesota and seven other states, including the cities of Luverne, Pipestone, Worthington, Windom and Adrian.

The soldiers, rather than coming one in one large group, will come back to the United States and Minnesota in smaller groups, depending on what kind of transportation is used and how much seating is available on airplanes and busses as the troops are processed back into the country.

Some are already back in the country, while others are still being processed out of Kuwait.

They will spend several days at a U.S. Army base while going through the demobilization process.

SFC Kirk Dunlavey, Readiness NCO at the Jackson Armory, said he is expecting the troops back in the near future, but won't have exact dates until shortly before the soldiers arrive.

The best way for families to know when their soldier is coming home is to wait and hear that news from their soldier, he said.

The cities of Jackson and Luverne plan to have homecoming celebrations for their troops, but plans so far have not been finalized due to uncertain dates.

According to Babe Crowell, Commander of Windom's American Legion Post 206, seven of the soldiers are from Windom.

He sent a request through military channels and was able to get a group photo of the seven men, which was taken at the Red Square entrance at Camp Patriot in Kuwait.

Crowell hopes to have a homecoming ceremony of some kind hosted by Post 206 in Windom when the soldiers come home.

Daily Globe Reporter Justine Wettschreck may be reached at