Posted: May 20, 2014 3:10 PM by Mihir Bhagat, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: May 21, 2014 11:30 PM
MACON - The Missouri National Guard hosted a welcome home ceremony for the 1438th Engineer Company at Macon High School Tuesday. All 125 troops safely returned home.
"That is probably the greatest accomplishment as a company commander and a company as a whole," Captain McClellan H. Gaono-Taiese said. "By the grace of God, I think he brought us all back."
Hundreds of family and friends, including veterans, attended the ceremony and embraced the soldiers afterwards.
"It's an amazing feeling," 1438th Specialist Nicholas Boggs said. "What a feeling to be back with my family and friends. What a great welcoming back home. Shivers on my back still."
The soldiers deployed to Southern Afghanistan on July 12, 2013 and began bridge building in late August. During their time, unit members received a total of 121 awards for their work.
"Those awards are a testament of what we went through and what we accomplished," Captain Gaono-Taiese said. "No amount of awards can say what we did and really put up with out there, but it's good enough."
Gov. Jay Nixon attended the ceremony and said he's proud of the company's efforts.
"It's a mission well-done," Governor Nixon said. "One hundred twenty one medals from this group, and 100 percent of these folks come back home. This is the kind of combat engineers that Missouri is famous for, out in the front, making sure the world is safe."
The soldiers said they benefited from the experience.
"Overall, it's a real eye-opener to see how these people live compared to how we live here," 1438th Specialist William Tetley said. "It's an experience that you would want most people to have, but it's really kind of dangerous for most people to head over there."
"How the different society lives in a third-world country compared to ours," Boggs said. "It was just an amazing and wonderful experience that I'll carry for the rest of my life."
"I learned a lot about the characteristics of the people. Not only my soldiers but the people of Afghanistan. Just learning how to deal with different environments and cultures. It's truly an experience that everyone should experience."
Captain Gaono-Taiese said now that he's back home with his family, he's taking a trip to Disney World.
Posted 5:25 PM 11/29/2015 by The Associated Press
STEWARTSVILLE (AP) - A northwest Missouri man is dead after pointing a weapon at law enforcement officers who were responding to a domestic disturbance.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the patrol and Dekalb County Sheriff's Department responded to a call near Stewartsville at 10:18 (More)
Posted 4:16 PM 11/29/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested a man who allegedly grabbed a 14-year-old relative by the hair for not wearing a hijab, a traditional Muslim headscarf.
The incident occurred on Tuesday at Hickman High School shortly before school was to let out for the day. Police say (More)
Posted 3:02 PM 11/29/2015 by James Packard, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - As the post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend winds down, Columbia small businesses were preparing Sunday for a rush of online shopping, largely dominated by big-name retailers, during Cyber Monday.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) says it created the term "Cyber Monday" in 2005 (More)
Posted 1:47 PM 11/29/2015 by The Associated Press
JOPLIN (AP) — A southwest Missouri newspaper's recent attempts to obtain emails from three former public officials in Joplin resulted in two denials because the records were wiped clean soon after the leaders left office.
The Joplin Globe, which requested the records, reports (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 1:38 PM 11/29/2015 by Alex Farkas, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Sunday marks the 11th annual Drive Safer Sunday on the year's busiest day of travel.
Non-profit organization Road Safe America (RSA) is reminding drivers to be safe on the roads during the holidays including not only Thanksgiving, but also the upcoming Christmas and New Year's (More)
Posted 1:30 PM 11/29/2015 by The Associated Press
SILEX (AP) — The mayor of a tiny eastern Missouri town is dead after being involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle that crossed the center line.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 67-year-old David E. Rice of Silex was pronounced dead Friday at a St. Louis-area (More)
Posted 11:31 AM 11/29/2015 by Associated Press
NORMANDY (AP) — It's been more than 15 months since Michael Brown became a household name after a white police officer shot and killed the black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
But Brown's fame stands in stark contrast to the relative obscurity of his (More)
Posted 6:52 PM 11/28/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are set to question officials in Gov. Jay Nixon's administration on how the state spends money to help refugees.
The Legislature recently set the Monday hearing in response to deadly attacks in Paris and criticism of Nixon's decision not to (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 4:38 PM 11/28/2015 by Emma Balkenbush, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY - Natasha Johnson started the group, Show Me-Just and Caring Communities, in 2013 and is now beginning to develop the group further.
Johnson started the anti-bully group with another parent after learning about a middle school student who had committed suicide after (More)