Griswold soldier expected to arrive home next week


July 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – About one-third of the nearly 3,000 Iowa Army National Guard soldiers deployed to Afghanistan are back in the United States and awaiting reunions with their families and friends. One of those soldiers is Griswold resident and Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Johnson.  Sgt. 1st Class Johnson just returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The soldiers have returned to Fort McCoy, Wis., with homecoming ceremonies planned over the next month, including those planned for Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Boone and Johnston, where 185 soldiers will be welcomed home.

Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood says about 1,000 soldiers arrived from Afghanistan on Tuesday and Wednesday. He says the rest will arrive over the next 10 days.

The soldiers are spending time at Fort McCoy for debriefing and to turn in weapons and equipment. Soldiers sent to the country comprised the largest single deployment of Iowa National Guard troops since World War II.