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107th Military Police Company welcomed home in grand ceremony
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The 107th Military Police Company National Guard Unit out of Utica was deployed in June of 2011, and returned to Utica in June of this year.
On Sunday, they were welcomed home in grand style in what the U.S. Army calls a Freed Salute Ceremony.
The 107th spent nearly a year in Cuba guarding the most high profile detainees at Guantanamo Bay as part of Operation New Dawn.
They worked work seven days a week, never getting a single day off and did it all in the extreme heat of Cuba.
Something 1st Lt. Andrew Miller of Utica says took some getting used to. He said, "It was very hot and it was tough to get everybody acclimated to the weather down there, especially with the heat. We constantly had to hydrate."
Sgt. John Daley, whose fulltime job here at home is at the Walmart Distribution Center, says this trip was very personal for many in his unit. Daley said, "This was important to myself and our unit, because we responded to Ground Zero on 9/11, so this has come full circle for us. We were down at Guantanamo Bay, so it's full circle."
These men and women are people just like many of us here, in a way. They have fulltime jobs here in Central New York, but they have chosen to give up a lot, an awful lot to serve our country.
And for 1st Lt. Adis Delanovic of Utica, the United States is his new country after becoming a U.S. citizen after his family emigrated from Bosnia in 1994.
Delanovic says he feels like it is an honor to serve our his new country in the National Guard, "It provides you the opportunity to do a lot of things for the country that did a lot for me, and for my family. They gave me the opportunity to come here. Before we came here, we lived in a refugee center, where food was short, here, we have plenty of food in our country."