JERSEY CITY - Dozens of National Guard members were welcomed home Thursday, in time for the Fourth of July.

More than 160 troops experienced the outpouring of emotion at the National Guard Armory ceremony in Jersey City. They hail from across the state, with the most living in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties.

"Doesn't even feel real," said Army Sgt. John Ondish. "Feels like I'm going to wake up in Bahrain again. It's definitely a good feeling."

The soldiers served about nine months supporting military operations in the Persian Gulf, where they provided security for a Navy facility.

All of the soldiers received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.