The "Black Bears" are on their way home!  The Maine Army National Guard's 126th Aviation Medevac unit, based right here in Bangor are currently at Fort Hood in Texas after spending the past 12 months in Kuwait.

One member of the unit, Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing of Glenburn, will not be returning home however.  Sgt. Wing died in a non-combat related incident on August 27th of last year.  The cause of her death has not been released.  She was described at her funeral as a dedicated soldier, who put others first.

Meanwhile the 120 returning Black Bears are being debriefed in Texas before their return home to Bangor. The Guard likes to make sure that everyone is healthy both physically and mentally before their return to family life.

The unit specialized in flying Black Hawk helicopters.  They airlifted the wounded, military dogs and civilians during their stay in Kuwait.

When will they officially return to Bangor?  That hasn't been announced at this point, although a Guard spokesperson said it would be "soon".  We welcome them home and thank them very much for a job well done!

The video below shows the 126th in action five years ago in Iraq.