POCATELLO — It was a moment filled with joy and relief as 40 soldiers with the 116th Cavalry Brigade of the Idaho National Guard arrived home Sunday afternoon.
For Benny and Chelsea Mireles—who were married just weeks before deploying to Iraq last year—coming home means reuniting with their families and spending time together outside a war zone.
"We had the privilege of being together on the same base," said Benny Mireles, who is from Shelley. "I got to see her every day."
Chelsea's mother, Peggy Marlor from Jerome, said she was comforted in knowing they were serving together.
"It kind of gave me relief knowing my daughter was there with her husband," she said.
And now that they're home, Marlor said it's both wonderful and a big relief.
"It feels great," Benny Mireles said.
Army National Guardsmen of the 116th Cavalry Brigade will be returning home over the next several weeks. Those returning include about 2,700 Citizen Soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon, with about 1,500 from Idaho, 600 from Montana and 600 from Oregon.
They are arriving in groups of 200-300 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash. Out-processing there is expected to take about 10 days. From there, they will be released from active duty and will return home.
Capt. Eric Sharp, rear detachment commander, said soldiers will likely be arriving in groups of 40-80 at local airports.
"It's very exciting to see them back home finally," Sharp said.