36 Soldiers returning home to Arizona from Afghanistan

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Coming in on six separate flights throughout the day, a group of Arizona soldiers is returning home from Afghanistan Wednesday.

Some of the 36 soldiers from the 1-158th Infantry of the Arizona Army National Guard started arriving at Sky Harbor International Airport in the morning after being in Afghanistan for a year. More arrivals were expected later in the day.

The soldiers, along with a unit from Massachusetts, formed security force platoons for reconstruction teams, among other duties.

The Arizona National Guard says the soldiers conducted more than 300 combat patrols and dealt with improvised-explosive devices two times.

"We had a great tour over there, did a lot of good work over there," said Spc. Will Gnagi

The platoon has received eight Bronze Star medals and 33 Army Commendation medals.

The soldiers hail from across the Phoenix metro area, Sierra Vista, Flagstaff and Tucson. Several others come from other parts of the country.