By Marlee Ginter

STOCKTON (CBS13) – A C-130 military aircraft brought dozens of National Guard troops back home to California after a stressful mission on their own land.

Private First Class Isaac Escobar was fresh out of advanced individual training and barely familiar with those in his unit, but patriotism runs in his blood coming from a military family. Like many others, he jumped at the opportunity to protect his nation’s Capitol.

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“Especially when there’s a threat in the Capitol. We didn’t know what was going to go on or not. I’m just glad to be back home, safe and sound,” said Private First Class Isaac Escobar.

“That’s why we wear this patch on our shoulder because we’re a team and we’re in this together,” said Col. Jesse Miller.

It was actually a first mission for some and also an uncertain one, following the attacks on the U.S. Capitol in January. National Guard troops filed into Washington, D.C. to serve as an extension of the Capitol police force, providing support and security during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and then staying on to ensure a peaceful transition.

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“I know everyone’s very excited to be back home here in California. It’s not just this mission, but it’s been a very long year with the majority of our force in the fight against COVID,” said Col. Miller.

Their mission is complete and these soldiers are calling it a successful one. They’re ready to go home to loved ones until the next time they’re called up.

“I’m very patriotic. I love my country. That’s why I serve in the National Guard. When I first heard of the attack, I wanted to volunteer and when I got the opportunity, I hopped right on it,” Pfc. Escobar said.

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The long flight across the country lasted eight hours with a detour due to storms. The pandemic also added to the stress of their travels, but many were vaccinated before they left.