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State senator returns from deployment in Afghanistan

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) After eight months in Afghanistan, State Senator Jim Banks of Columbia City returned to Indiana Tuesday afternoon.

24-Hour News 8 sister station WANE-TV was in Indianapolis last November when Senator Banks took his oath of office via Skype. Now, after what seemed like an eternity for him and his family, he’s home. It’s an experience he said he doesn’t want again, but one that will benefit him at the statehouse.

Loved ones and colleagues were there to greet Senator Banks at Fort Wayne International Airport.

“I’m anxious. I’m really anxious to see him. I’ve waited for this day, I’ve dreampt of this day, I’ve daydreamed of this day for so long, so I’m just thrilled. I’m really excited to see him,” said Amanda Banks, Banks’ wife.

Banks who’s served in the U.S. Navy Reserve since 2012, has been working as a supply corps. officer in the U.S. Navy since September, helping to eventually remove troops from Afghanistan.

During that time, Amanda Banks served as a temporary replacement for him at the statehouse.

While away, Senator David Long appointed Banks chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs committee.

“That was the greatest part of my deployment, was serving with extraordinary men and women from all over our country,” said Senator Banks, “I look forward to being a leader and support, especially our veterans from recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, looking forward to getting back to work on those issues, but right now, I’m just looking forward to going to Dairy Queen and making up time with my girls and my wife who I haven’t seen in a long time.”.

Amanda Banks will work at the statehouse for another week. Senator Banks still has a couple weeks left of leave and expects to be back to work sometime after this legislative session.