Guardsmen return home to possible sequestration cuts - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Guardsmen return home to possible sequestration cuts

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Dozens of Tennessee National Guard members returned home Thursday after a year-long deployment, and while there was a big celebration for their arrival, many of them could now get hit by sequestration cuts.

"I think everybody is concerned, you know, whenever the government says they're laying off," said Leann Hughes, wife of a soldier.

As the buses rolled in about 7:30 a.m., family and friends weren't the only ones waiting for members of the 181st National Guard Field Artillery Unit out of Chattanooga - the threat of sequestration was, too.

After spending nearly a year in Jordan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the unit came back to a lot of uncertainty. Some will face pay cuts while some others can expect furloughs.

"We heard rumors back home," said Spc. Stephanie Lockhart. "I know that it's going to cut back on some of our pay."

Regardless of the timing, though, those reunited with their loved ones said the sequestration didn't damper their spirits this day.

That includes Sgt. Maj. Russ Wright, who returned home to celebrate his 22nd wedding anniversary with his wife.

"I'm glad to be home," Wright said.

More than 27,000 Tennessee Army and Air National Guardsmen have deployed since Sept. 11, 2001. Another group of the 181st National Guard Field Artillery Unit is expected to arrive home Monday.

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