A Marine’s Welcome Home

A returning Marine got one noisy welcome back at his doorstep. A motorcade arrived at Shawn Downing’s home in Aurora, where he then took a limo ride to the Applebee’s along Route 59.

Downing returned from Afghanistan on January 7th after a nearly one-year tour there. He first enlisted in the marines in 2008, a year after graduating from Moline High School.

The community greeted downing with a flag line outside the restaurant to show appreciation for his service.

His proud mom and sisters joined operation welcome you home in honoring their loved one. The group has planned hundreds of similar homecomings since beginning a few years ago.

“After being away from their families for so long, it’s a nice little welcome home gift,” said Downing. “It lets them know that they didn’t forget about them. Their work wasn’t for nothing.”

“I was totally surprised,” said his mom Susan Ward. “I never knew it would be so overwhelming. It’s wonderful that other people show such support.”

Downing will be home until February 8th, at which time he will redeploy to Afghanistan.

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