COVINGTON -- Soldiers with Company B 1/121st Infantry of the National Guard's 48th Brigade, based at the Covington Armory, returned home from Afghanistan on Sunday evening.

The soldiers arrived at Fort Stewart near Savannah about 6:30 p.m., Staff Sgt. Kevin Shultz said. Following a brief ceremony, they were released to their families.

"Several saw their newborn babies for the first time," Shultz said.

Those who arrived Sunday are expected to remain at Fort Stewart all week for debriefing and they will be released from active duty to return to their civilian lives by Saturday, "in time to be at home with their families by Easter Sunday," Shultz said.

Shultz said he could not reveal the number of soldiers that arrived, but added it was a majority of the company. The rest will be coming home in the next few days. Some who were attached to other companies arrived last Thursday and Friday, said Kim Schroeder, family readiness coordinator for the company, who welcomed her son, Spc. Zachary Schroeder, home.

"I think it was the most exciting time of my life. There was our whole company, and everybody came back alive and everyone came back bodies intact," she said.

"As I was standing there waiting, a sense of pride just came over me. I am so proud of every single one of our soldiers and their families. They made the sacrifice, along with our soldiers, and here we are a year later," she added.

The soldiers' mission was to train Afghan security forces and Afghan police.

A local welcome home ceremony and parade are expected to take place in May or June.