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Fort Sill, OK – National Guard unit returns from Iraq

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) About 300 National Guard members from Mississippi and Tennessee have returned from Iraq.

The 1st Battalion, 230th Air Cavalry Squadron was welcomed back during a ceremony at Fort Sill in Lawton on Monday.

Col. Gary Russell of Fort Sill's Mobilization Brigade says the group provided air and ground combat and logistic support to combat operations in Iraq.

Sgt. Maj. Mark Breeze, the command sergeant major for the state of Tennessee, noted that two members of the unit didn't return from the mission, "but they are present in our hearts and minds. Hooah."

Capt. Marcus Alford of Knoxville, Tenn., and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Billie Jean Grinder of Gallatin, Tenn., died in a helicopter crash Feb. 21 as they were trying to land at a base in northern Iraq.

The accident remains under investigation.