OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – U.S. Army National Guard soldiers from Oklahoma got some help to get home for the holiday’s Thursday morning after the Choctaw Nation provided two buses to bring them home all the way from Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

It was a freezing holiday homecoming after about 12 hours on the road.

“I’m very excited to be headed home,” said Specialist Lainey Lordahl, one of the service members on the buses.

More than 100 soldiers with the 45th Field Artillery Brigade hopped on two buses provided by the Choctaw Nation to ride all the way from Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas to the Army National Guard recruiting center in Mustang.

“Just spend a lot of time with my family and see my dogs,” Lordahl said. “I miss them.”

Soldiers sort through packs outside bus
Image courtesy Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“Hang out with my parents, my sister, my dog,” said Staff Sergeant Makyla Mckean, another service member on the buses. “Take some naps and eat and just kind of love on my family.”

Mckean is headed home to Tulsa, while Lordahl is headed to McAlester.

Both have spent months doing pre-deployment training.

The pair, and the others they rode with, did not have another way to get back to Oklahoma for Christmas.

Luckily, the Choctaw Nation provided the path home, and it seems to have been a nice ride.

“I caught up on a lot of sleep,” Lordahl said, laughing.

“It was nice, there were TV’s and outlets, and it was great,” Mckean said.

All of them said they were ecstatic to be back in the Sooner State.

They rushed through the bitter cold weather to get home and see their loved ones after lots of time apart.

Oklahoma National Guard members return from Fort Bliss
Image courtesy Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“Thank you, have a Merry Christmas,” a girlfriend of one of the service members said as they got into their car to leave.

The Choctaw Nation brought these soldiers home and they will also take them back. They are set to hop back on those buses and return to Fort Bliss after the holiday.