AURORA, Colo. – (AP/CBS4) Gov. John Hickenlooper visited Buckley Air Force Base on Tuesday to welcome back members of the Colorado Army National Guard.

Members of the 193rd Military Police Battalion who had been serving duty in Afghanistan were greeted with lots of hugs and kisses from their family members.

1st Lt. Tony Gherardini told CBS4 he couldn’t believe how much his daughter Gabrielle has grown since he left.

“It’s amazing. I left and she was only six months, she couldn’t even crawl yet, she had no teeth, and now she’s talking and walking and all of that kind of good stuff, so it’s fantastic. I’m very excited to be back,” Gherardini said.

The troops have been deployed for a year. They have been operating a detention facility at Bagram Air Base. The unit also trained the Afghan army military police to eventually take over the prison.

Members of the battalion come from across Colorado.

Related Link: Photo Gallery Of Welcoming Home Ceremony

(Watch a Web Extra on what troops have to say about being back home.)

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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