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TN National Guard troops returning home in time for Christmas | News

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TN National Guard troops returning home in time for Christmas

(WBIR-Clinton) On Saturday, more than 40 soldiers with the Tennessee National Guard will return home from Afghanistan in time for Christmas.

The 1-230th Air Cavalry Squadron based in East Tennessee deployed to Afghanistan in February in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The remaining troops, including Staff Sgt. Daniel Bean, will return Saturday after a nearly year-long deployment.

Bean serves as a crew chief with the 1-230th Air Calvary Squadron. He is finishing his third combat deployment.

"We had one pony when he left and now we have four horses total," said Rachal Bean, Daniel's wife.

According to Rachal, a lot has changed since her soldier left.

Rachal and their two kids, Daniel, 14, and Andrew, 12, moved from Oak Ridge to Clinton.

"We're not used to having him around since he's been gone for 10 months," Andrew said.

Staff Sgt. Bean has not seen their new home.

While Rachal has been organizing and cleaning the house, she has left some tasks for Staff Sgt. Bean, who likes to fix things around the home.

"Got the furniture arranged kind of how we like it but of course he'll change it all," said Rachal, with a smile.

Besides a big move, their youngest son, Andrew, became sick and had to try homeschool.

"We had to go through two or three months worth of worry over him being so sick by myself. And, you know, my husband's having to hear about it over the phone," she said.

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"It's been lonely without him," said Daniel, who started his first year at Clinton High School.

According to Rachal, the deployments get harder on the boys the older they get.

"There's times where they need to talk and mom is not the person they want to talk to. If they've had a rough time with another friend or girls or whatever, you know, mom is not the one they want to go to for advice," she said.

The family is getting something more valuable than any gift this Christmas--time with their soldier.

"That he's home," Daniel said. "That I get to spend some time with him again. I really missed him."

The remaining troops will arrive back in Smyrna on Saturday morning. The Bean family will be waking up early to greet Staff Sgt. Bean at the Volunteer Training Site within the Smyrna airport.


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