WESTMONT – Army Spc. Adam Tomanovich had no idea.
When the Westmont native returned home from a nine-month tour in Afghanistan Friday, he found quite a bit of fanfare.
Members of the Westmont police and fire departments, as well as local veteran's motorcycle groups escorted Tomanovich, 19, with an impromptu welcome-home parade down Cass Avenue to his home along the 5800 block of Raintree Court in Westmont Friday afternoon.
Tomanovich, whose flight from Germany landed about an hour-and-half before, said he was not expecting his return home to be such a big deal.
"I thought it would just be family and a few friends," he said. "I was not expecting anything like this. It was incredible."
His father, Alex Tomanovich, credited Westmont Police Chief Tom Mulhearn, the village of Westmont and Chicago area veterans motorcycle groups for making his son's return something special.
"I am truly amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support from our community and the veteran members of these groups," Alex Tomanovich said. "It has been amazing."
Tomanovich, a specialist in the Army's 1-91 CAV, 173rd Airborne Combat Team, was stationed in Germany, and left for the Logar Province of Afghanistan last Memorial Day. His unit worked primarily to help the local Afghan people adjust while U.S. troops withdraw from the region.
And he said the people, at least in the area he was in, appear ready to govern themselves.
"The area that we were in – they have a pretty stable local government in place, so they should be OK once we leave," he said.
He said his unit did have some injures while in Afghanistan, both from shrapnel and bullet wounds, but there were no casualties.
Tomanovich said he will be home from the Army until the end of the month before going back to Germany. He plans on spending a lot of time with family and friends while he is home.
He celebrates his 20th birthday on April 9, and said it will be nice to celebrate with family and friends.
"It is good to be back home," he said.
"It's wonderful that he is back," Alex Tomanovich said. "Now, he can be a kid again."