Now this is the type of homecoming our heroes deserve… a group of 13 Marines who served in Afghanistan received quite a welcome when they touched down in Chicago after five days of travel, with still more to go.
It all started when Stephanie Hare, a native of Illinois who was working in London, contacted the USO at O’Hare International Airport to tell them her fiancé, Capt. Pravin Rajan, and a dozen other Marines were headed to Chicago from Baltimore to catch another flight to San Diego.
When Stephanie called the USO she was thinking of getting the Marines some Chicago pizza or champagne. But John Volas, a 74-year-old former Marine USO volunteer, provided way more than pizza, even with such short notice.
After making several phone calls, not only were the soldiers met by a crowd of police and firemen, a fire truck met the plane with a water salute.
And when the Marines boarded their jet to San Diego, American Airlines gave their six empty first class seats to some of the soldiers.
But the remaining seven men didn’t wind up in coach. After the airline’s gesture, seven First Class passengers gave up their seats so all the marines could fly home together in style.