Butte Soldier Returns Home from Afghanistan - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Butte Soldier Returns Home from Afghanistan

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BUTTE -

A Butte soldier, part of the Montana National Guard 495th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, is back home after a ten month deployment to Afghanistan.

Since December 21 of last year, Major Tracy Swanson was stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Serving as a company commander of the Montana National Guard 495th battalion, it was Swanson's job to manage almost 70 troops.

While Swanson worked in a war zone, there was something he was constantly thinking about.

"I guess what took me by surprise was how much I missed my family," Major Swanson said. "We all know we're going to miss our families, but I didn't realize how much that was going to impact me. For me, that was a big surprise."

After a more than ten month deployment, Major Swanson returned home this past weekend to his wife and three children.

"I was just crying," Swanson said. "It was overwhelming. I just couldn't believe that it was, I was finally back with them. One thing deployment will teach you is how important your family is to you."

After arriving in Kalispell, Swanson and his family drove to butte where they were quickly pulled over by the police.

Thinking he was receiving a ticket, the officer instructed Swanson to follow the patrol car.

The officer turned on his lights and escorted Swanson home where 75 of his neighbors held a reception to welcome back one of their heroes.

"They just took care of everything," said Jennifer Swanson, Major Swanson's wife. "After a year, it's just nice to know that people really appreciate you like that. So it was really great, really amazing."

"They had decorated the entire outside of my house," said Major Swanson. "They were all shaking my hand. I have to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. It was unbelievable. I think it really shows something about people from Butte. They really have heart."

This was Major Swanson's first deployment.

He is currently taking off work at the Montana National Guard to spend time with his family.

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