SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Army National Guard’s 1742nd Transportation Company was welcomed home Sunday in Sioux Falls after a 13-month deployment to the southern border near Tuscon, Arizona.

The 125 soldiers members of the company actually returned about three months ago, but had officially had an welcome home ceremony. The company was on the U.S and Mexico border occupying 10 surveillance sites spanning 150 miles.

“It was a lot, so as we heard today from our commander, it was 24/7 365. No weekends off, no holidays, of observing and reporting for border protection agents,” first lieutenant Luke Whalen.

They came home in three different groups.

“We didn’t actually get a chance to see each other all home in South Dakota together, so this is the first time since that,” Whalen said.

For sergeant Joshua Meyer, he says the deployment was an adjustment at first.

“Kind of going into a new area. Different style mission. As we’re a transportation company, it was something new, but we adapted and learned how to be the best at our jobs and the most proficient. And with family life, it was a lot easier being stateside but yet a lot harder just because we were so close,” Joshua said.

Joshua became a dad shortly before he was deployed.

“I was granted a little extension leaving, so it’s been great to learn how to be a parent and be together with my wife again,” Joshua said.

“We’re kind of going through all those firsts now since he missed a lot of it because our daughter was three weeks old when he left. Just having him home, getting readjusted to roles, getting in a new routine,” Joshua’s wife Andrea Meyer said.

Rebecca Roselles is the company’s commander and says the trip was eye-opening.

“I never thought I would serve on a mission like this. I had no idea, being from South Dakota, what an impact the border crisis is. And then us serving down there and protecting this nation and securing our border, how important that was, so we took transporters down there and did a totally unique mission to what they were used to,” Roselles said.

She says seeing everyone back home is so heartwarming.

“Serving and protecting this country and the freedoms that we get, and we’re happy to do it. It was challenging, but I’m so glad to just be home and see everybody back together,” Roselles said.

Rep. Dusty Johnson, Gov. Kristi Noem, Sioux Falls mayor Paul Tenhaken and Flandreau mayor Dan Sutton spoke at the welcome home ceremony.

Johnson says live were saved because of this mission.

“These men and women serve with incredible distinction. We heard story after story about how they got the mission done and did so in a way that brought real honor to the South Dakota National Guard. This was an exciting day,” Johnson said.