ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Seventy Minnesota families are especially thankful this year, as their soldiers returned safely from Iraq this week.

The troops arrived home Wednesday and were welcomed at a ceremony in St. Cloud. The soldiers are members of the Company B, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment.

A St. Cloud Times report says the unit spent a year in Iraq to support the drawdown of troops.

One soldier was Nate Foster of St. Cloud. When he left a year ago his son was 4 weeks old. Now that he's a 1-year-old, Foster says his main job now is to figure out how to be a dad.

Cody Gallmeier of Foley is looking forward to surprising his extended family on Thanksgiving. Only his closest family knows he's home.