Official welcome offered to troops at Cony H.S.

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AUGUSTA (AP) – A Freedom Salute ceremony to mark the previous return home of 82 members of the 240th Engineer Group of the Maine Army National Guard and two other soldiers back from Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom was held Sunday at Cony High School.

The members of the 240th Engineer Group had served a year in Afghanistan.

Among those offering an official welcome was Gov. John Baldacci.

“You return to a grateful state and nation, and a very happy group of friends and family. We are deeply appreciative of your efforts. You continue a great tradition in Maine of service,” Baldacci said in a statement.

Known during the deployment as Combined Task Force Chamberlain, the 240th conducted engineer operations in eastern and south-central Afghanistan, the National Guard said.

Duties included clearing parts of Bagram Air Field of unexploded ordnance, mines, and other explosive hazards, the National Guard said.

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