Ten Illinois National Guard soldiers return home


Ten Illinois army National Guard soldiers are back on American soil. They were deployed in Afghanistan for six months helping the Polish forces.

Major Jason Cobb was one of the soldiers. He came home with a fractured finger after trying to save a satellite dish. He was throwing a football, and caught the rogue ball to save the only device he could use to talk to his family.

“if you don’t make those phone calls on time with family they start to get a little worried” he said.

He was sent to Afghanistan to fix helicopters with the Polish forces. “Building that fleet up to maintain their capability is what I was sent there to do, work embedded in the Polish forces.”

After aviation crashes, he was hired as an investigator to find and fix those problems. The transition wasn’t very difficult, he says “Whatever we need to do, we adapt. We adapt quickly. I ended up on a mountainside with a bunch of Czechoslovakian troops and we started the investigation there”.

He wasn’t alone overseas. Nine other soldiers deployed with him and they all had one thing in common…. Illinois. They came back to their home base with a T-shirt, and a medal from the commander of the polish forces. But for Major Cobb, seeing his family was the gift he was waiting for.

“Sometimes there are emotions that creep in especially when you’re Skyping family back home and talking to the kids and making sure families ok and discussing what’s going on back here because life just doesn’t stop just because you’re gone”

That satellite dish now works both ways. He says he’s not done overseas if he’s ever needed again.

“If they need me, they’ll call.”


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