Oregon Public Broadcasting

Five members of the Oregon National Guard have returned home from Afghanistan in time for the holidays, and a thousand more are scheduled to deploy.

The five pilots are part of the Oregon Army National Guard's Detachment 47. They deployed to Afghanistan more than a year ago.

Stephen Bomar is a spokesman for the Oregon Military Department. He says the military does not prioritize getting troops home for the holidays.

"You know, the mission has to be accomplished, and if we're fortunate enough to get somebody home for the holidays or have them depart after the holidays that would always be wonderful," Bomar said.

Twenty-one Oregon soldiers stationed in Kosovo are expected to return home after the New Year.

In the spring, about 1,000 soldiers from Oregon's 41st Infantry Brigade Combat team are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.

Bomar says they're expected to be among the final troops in that country as the U.S. draws down its presence there.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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