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ND National Guard soldiers to return home Friday

BISMARCK -- Nearly 100 North Dakota National Guard soldiers who served a year in Afghanistan and lost two of their comrades are returning home.

The members of the 818th Engineer Company have been going through the demobilization process at Fort Bliss, Texas, since March 12. They are scheduled to fly into Bismarck on Friday. The Guard says a formal welcome home ceremony will be held in about three months.

The 818th is based in Williston with a detachment in Hazen. The soldiers served as combat engineers in Afghanistan, clearing roadside bombs.

Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde, of Devils Lake, and Spc. Tyler Orgaard, of Bismarck, died in the line of duty on Dec. 3. A third soldier, Spc. Ian Placek, of Bismarck, was wounded.