Troops from U.S. Army Reserves return home in time for the new year

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A heroic homecoming for troops in a local army reserve unit in central Illinois, with many troops from Bloomington, was underway Thursday night.

Troops with the 236th Inland Cargo Transfer Company (ICTC) U.S. Army Reserves Unit based in Decatur landed at Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) Thursday afternoon.

Fifteen soldiers from Bloomington and Springfield greeted their loved ones at the gates and saw their faces in person for the first time since February. Connor Carlock was one of the returning soldiers and his mom, Melody Carlock, said it was a special moment seeing her son for the first time in almost a year.

“Seeing him walk towards me, I cant even express how excited I was. I really cant. It’s just amazing to have him and his whole unit home,” Carlock said. “They’re all safe and it’s just a blessing, it really is.”

The troops returned home after a deployment to Kuwait to support the U.S. military’s operations in the Middle East. Carlock said the pandemic added extra stress, but was able to keep in contact virtually.

“Not being able to be there and if they got sick, there was nothing we could do, we couldn’t be there for them so it was very stressful,” Carlock said. “Thankfully, his entire unit is well, they all cam home safe and sound; we couldn’t be happier.”

She said the troops also spent time in Fort Hood, Texas and Indiana before returning home Thursday. She said it’s a great way to end a not so great year and is glad to have her only son home.

“He should be home for good. This being a reserve unit, they only deploy every four years, so he’ll be home now and he’ll be headed to college,” Carlock said.

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