On Tuesday, two separate military units reminded Minnesotans that the war in Afghanistan isn't over yet as a company of U.S. Army reservists readied to deploy while National Guard members returned home.
The hangar was filled with anticipation as loved ones waited to welcome home the men and women who spent 11 months overseas.
"They've been gone for a while -- 335 days apart, 500 e-mails," said Dawn Coudron, who was waiting for her husband.
Some of the servicemen returning home met their children for the first time.
"This is Cheyenne," said Ashley Olson. "Her dad is coming home from deployment today."
The 53 soldiers from St. Cloud's Charlie Company spent 3,600 hours flying med-evac missions in western Afghanistan.
"So glad to be home, words can't describe," said David Olson, crew chief of the Charlie Company.
Yet, as one company returns home, another is readying to leave it. Families said their goodbyes at deployment ceremonies for the Army Reserve's 203 Transportation Company in Arden Hills on Tuesday. It will be a year before those soldiers will enjoy their own homecoming.
The 203rd Transportation Company will be responsible for loading and transferring cargo via air, rail and trucks.