Nearly 300 soldiers returning from Somalia arrived home in time for Christmas dinner after a snowstorm delayed their flight for more than 24 hours.

About 185 Fort Lewis-based soldiers originally were scheduled to arrive home at 3:45 a.m. Friday, but a snowstorm closed the Canadian air base where their plane landed for refueling. The chartered jet finally landed at McChord Air Force Base at 8:47 a.m. Saturday, a duty sergeant at Fort Lewis said."It's been long. Everyone is anxious to get home," Sgt. Peter Montoya said.

Most of the Fort Lewis soldiers were members of the 40th Transportation Company, which was sent to Africa on Sept. 3 to help transport fuel and water for United Nations forces in Somalia.

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Another 100 soldiers were dropped off at Fort Campell, Ky., before the plane landed in Washington state.

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