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Winter storm may delay return of Nebraska Guard from D.C.

Published: Jan. 24, 2021 at 9:05 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -The winter storm moving in could delay the return of 300 members of the Nebraska National from their Inauguration Day duties.

“We’re done with our mission,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Smith, from his hotel room in D.C. “We were done with our mission set yesterday and we collected all of our equipment for our return to Nebraska”.

The first of six flights were scheduled to take off from Joint Base Andrews Sunday night, with flights landing in Lincoln over the next 24-hours

“We understand that there are some unfavorable weather conditions coming up that could delay some of our flights but getting home safely is probably the most important thing,” said Lt. Col. Smith.

And while the timing of their return may be up in the air, the success of their mission is secure; helping to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

“Every service member did a phenomenal job here representing Nebraska,” said Lt. Col. Smith. “We all took the oath to support and defend our constitution and we came here to see the constitutional process follow through.”

He’s been sharing the experience with his family along the way. “I’ve been in contact with them daily,” said Lt. Col. Smith, noting they were asking him about Lady Gaga’s performance.

“They were all excited, asking how close I was. If I was close enough to hear Lady Gaga sing,” he said, with a laugh. “We weren’t close enough to hear Lady Gaga sing on Inauguration Day today.”

For some members, the mission officially marked even more of a commitment to the Nebraska National Guard.

“We did four promotions; we did those in front of the Washington monument. We also did five reenlistments,” said Lt. Col. Smith, noting they’re all ready now to home and share it all, in-person, with loved ones.

“It was definitely a historic event and everyone was glad they came, but at the same time everyone’s eager to get home for sure.”

6 News learned later Sunday night the first three flights did take off and have safely landed in Lincoln. They do, however, expect the final three flights to be delayed tomorrow.

Upon landing, members will go through an out-process and be dismissed no later than Wednesday.

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