Maine Army National Guard receives Freedom Salute

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Forty-five days after their safe return home from Afghanistan, members of Maine's Army National Guard reassembled in Lewiston, and received a Freedom Salute for their service.

The traditional military ceremony is a way to thank soldiers, and help them reintegrate into civilian life.

The 133rd Engineer Battalion and the 1035th Survey and Design Team was deployed in Afghanistan for nine months, closing and transferring military bases.

Their work is valued at $42 million dollars - but speakers at the salute said their service is priceless.

"It is you who have given us our freedom, and that's a debt we must constantly work to repay," said Rep. Mike Michaud.

Friends and family attended the ceremony at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Sunday morning, listening to speeches from Governor Paul LePage, Senator Susan Collins, Representative Chellie Pingree, and Representative Mike Michaud.

"On behalf of the citizens of the great state of Maine, I thank you from the bottom of my heart," said Gov. LePage.

Spc. Janice Lord said it was a moving ceremony.

"We accomplished a lot over there," said Lord. "I feel like we were making a difference."

Her family said they couldn't be happier to have her home.

"I actually cried for about fifteen minutes, and I'm not an emotional guy," said her father, Manuel Moreno. "I was very lonely without her for the whole year she was gone."


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