A Warm Welcome

One local family tried to make the holiday extra special for their soldier. When Illinois Army National Guard Officer Michael Hart returned from Afghanistan recently, he pulled into a neighborhood full of military pride.

Hart’s mother Pam spent six hours tying 600 yards worth of yellow ribbon around every tree, light post, and sign to support her son.

The ribbons followed Hart’s drive home starting at River Road and Aurora Avenue, continuing down Jefferson Avenue, before ending at his home with a welcome home sign.

“It didn’t really register to me that the yellow ribbons were for me,” said Hart. “Once I did find out having come home and seen the sign and my parents told me later hey these are for you it was pretty moving and I wish that every service member coming home has that same experience cause it’s been over whelming warm, positive and amazing. It’s good to be home.”

“I just kept thinking well surely he’s going to know,” said Pam Hart, Michael’s mother. “We just continued on and he didn’t say anything and then we got home and he didn’t know! He didn’t realize they were all for him.”

Hart is a 2004 graduate of Naperville North and a 2008 graduate of Western Illinois University. He says it was always a dream of his to become an officer and joined the National Guard in 2008. Hart recently spent six months in Afghanistan and there are no plans for his redeployment.

November is also National Military Family Appreciation Month and the Harts make a perfect example of showing support for their son.

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