Southwest delivers

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The members of the Texas National Guard (436th Chemical Company, 36th Infantry Division) temporarily stationed at Fort Bragg were expected to be deployed to Afghanistan before the holidays. They were granted a week of holiday leave when their deployment was delayed, and Southwest Airlines picked up the tab to fly the 180 soldiers home to Texas for the holidays. The largest group (of 110) traveled on a plane Southwest put into service exclusively for them. In the photo above, Shelli Hale greets her boyfriend, Texas Guardsman Sgt. Luis Hernandez, at the airport in Austin on Sunday. WRAL and the Austin American-Statesman report the story.

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