LOCKPORT, N.Y. - New York Army National Guard soldiers and family members of Company A, 27th Brigade Special Troops Battalion and their families will be honored for their service and sacrifice following their 2012 deployment to Afghanistan this weekend with a Freedom Salute Ceremony.<br /> <br /> Who: Approximately 55 soldiers from Company A, 27th Brigade Special Troops Battalion and their families.<br /> <br /> What: Welcome home Freedom Salute Ceremony following the unit's deployment to Afghanistan<br /> <br /> Where: Lockport High School Auditorium, 250 Lincoln Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094.<br /> <br /> When: 11 a.m. Sunday, May 5, 2013.<br /> <br /> Coverage Opportunities: <br /> <br /> Members of the media will have an opportunity to speak with soldiers and families about their experiences during the deployment. Visual opportunities will include medals and other awards being presented to soldiers. For questions about the event, or to provide notice of news media desire to attend the ceremony, please contact 1st Sgt. Micah Lyness, 716-316-0927.<br /> <br /> Background Information:<br /> <br /> Soldiers from Company A, 27th Brigade Special Troops Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit conducted route clearance of improvised explosive devices throughout Regional Command West. The unit successfully completed its mission in January 2013 achieving the highest find to strike ratio within Task Force Warhammer.<br /> <br /> The unit will also present one Bronze Star Medal, three Purple Hearts, three Combat Action Badges, four Army Commendation Medals and two Army Achievement Medals to soldiers for achievements or combat actions during their deployment.<br /> <br /> The ceremony will also recognize the Family Readiness Group volunteers for their service during the company's deployment, serving the needs of families across Western New York.<br /> <br /> National Guard Freedom Salute Program: <br /> <br /> In December 2003, National Guard Bureau in Washington launched the Freedom Salute Campaign nationwide as a way to recognize members of the Army National Guard for service during Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom and thank their spouses, children, and employers for the support they have shown to their soldier.<br /> <br /> The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history. Each eligible soldier will receive an encased American flag, a lapel insignia, a commemorative coin and a certificate of appreciation from the Army National Guard. The soldier's spouse/significant other will receive a lapel insignia while their children, who are considered a center of influence with young people, will be given a Future Soldier Footlocker Kit that includes the Daring Eagle board game, Mission Command card game, and Army National Guard trading cards.