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WATCH: Troops return home after ten months overseas

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BATON ROUGE - After ten months of serving overseas in Iraq, Sgt. Joshua McCoy and his comrades returned home Wednesday. 

As McCoy and dozens of his fellow servicemen and servicewomen disembarked from their flight and walked into the Baton Rouge Airport, they were greeted by members of the National Guard and by loved ones who welcomed them with hugs and tears of joy.

McCoy was overcome with emotion when he attempted to describe the surreal feeling of returning home.

"It's an anxious feeling," he said. "Man, my heart is racing right now! I'm happy to get back."

But getting back also means adapting to a new way of life. 

McCoy and his ten comrades were deployed to the al-Asad base in July of 2019, well before the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which became a life-altering worldwide pandemic.

Though the wearing of facemasks, the closures of well-known businesses, and implementation of social distancing practices are now considered normal aspects of life for Louisianians, these effects of the pandemic will be all new to soldiers like McCoy.  

But he takes it all in stride, confident he's prepared to face the challenges caused by COVID-19. 

"It's going to be hard you know," McCoy said. "But that's one thing the military taught us, to adapt to any situation."

McCoy's response alludes to the intense training he and fellow soldiers have undergone in preparation for the many life-threatening situations they face on a daily basis while serving overseas. 

His troop was hit by Iranian missiles in January, and after taking on numerous battles he and his colleagues are ready to take on the challenge of civilian life in a world changed by novel coronavirus. 


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