COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Some 400 South Carolina National Guard soldiers returned home from a nine-month deployment in the Balkan nation of Kosovo.
Five ceremonies were held Tuesday to welcome the men and women from the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. They served as part of the NATO peacekeeping force that has been stationed in Kosovo after the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia.
The units were here in Charleston and in Union, Gaffney, Conway, and West Columbia.
The soldiers deployed to Kosovo last August.
Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston says the soldiers restored hope and built a culture of peace during a critical time in a region filled with ethnic divisions.