CAROL STREAM – What started as a simple Facebook post came to life in the form of a community-wide undertaking to welcome home one local soldier, complete with a procession and surprise party Jan. 3.
When Carol Stream resident Lisa Zak wrote on the social networking site about her excitement that her neighbor, U.S. Army Spc. Kevin Curda, would return home from Afghanistan early, the conversation grew into plans to throw a welcome home party.
“The whole community came together,” Zak said.
On the day of the event, representatives from the Carol Stream Fire Protection District and the Carol Stream Police Department met with Curda’s friends and members of the organization Warriors Watch Riders at Glenbard North High School.
From there, the group traveled to Curda’s house to surprise his entire family and escort him to a party at Bulldog Ale House in Carol Stream. Several village trustees also were involved in organizing the event.
“I was just in awe of the whole thing,” Curda said.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, he was greeted by more than 60 people waving American flags, a presentation by Warriors Watch Riders and $100 in gift certificates to the ale house.
Curda is a radio technician with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Able Company and is stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. He has served in the military for two years, most recently in Paktya Province, where he traveled from base to base to assist in shutting down combat outposts and training Afghan soldiers in various military techniques.
He was scheduled to be deployed until February but was able to return to Carol Stream in time for Christmas and does not anticipate being deployed in the future.
A native of the village, Curda graduated from Community High School in West Chicago and attended the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.