UPDATED 01/24/11 5:37 a.m.
ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WBBM) – An Orland Park marine returned home in time to watch the Bears-Packers game with family and friends.
As WBBM’s Michele Fiore reports, in Orland Park, the hero wasn’t wearing navy blue and orange. His colors were red, white and blue.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore Reports
Veterans and the southwest suburb’s mayor joined family and friends holding up American flags, as Lance Cpl. George Trikolas walked out of a police escorted stretch limousine. Orland Park Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2604 posted colors.
Mike Capuano from VFW Post 2604 says he had a good conversation with Trikolas.
“I was a Marine myself, and was also stationed at Camp Lejeune where he’s going back to. There were 16 guys who didn’t make it back out of his battalion, and the ratio between people injured and killed is 3 to 1,” Capuano said.
With those odds, Capuano says Trikolas is lucky to be back. He was glad to take part in the welcome home celebration.
Capuano added that the recognition for today’s returning troops is much different than what he experienced after Vietnam. Today, he said, respect can begin aboard their commercial flight home.
Trikolas will be in Orland Park for three weeks. Next year, he is expected to return to Afghanistan on a second tour of duty.