"Today I had the chance to welcome home true American heroes. The men of Charlie Battery served South Dakota and their country with selflessness, honor and bravery," Thune said. "I had the chance to talk with many of them individually and hear their stories, trials and successes. On the faces of these young men, I saw strength and maturity beyond their years. I was humbled and inspired by what these brave men have endured and sacrificed for the safety and security of each and every one of us.
"As the soldiers of Charlie Battery travel home to South Dakota to see their loved ones, their homecoming will be a day of celebration and remembrance. Sadly, there are some in Charlie Battery who returned home early and rest with Providence. I hope we can each take a moment to remember those heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and pray for their families.
"I thank God for the brave service of the men of Charlie Battery and join all of South Dakota in giving them a hearty welcome home."
Photos from Senator Thune's visit with the troops are available in the photo gallery