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Welcome home program for veterans launches

LOMBARD – The village of Lombard has started a formal program to celebrate residents returning from military service.

The village’s Community Relations Committee recently initiated the Welcome Home Veterans program. Lombard District 1 trustee Dan Whittington, chairman of the committee, said the idea began this winter when a family friend was returning home from service in Afghanistan.

Whittington, working with the Lombard police and fire departments, was able to provide a formal welcome home for the veteran.

“These men and women sacrifice so much for our country,” Whittington said. They deserve a proper welcome. We want to show them we appreciate their service and are happy and honored to have them home.”

Through the new program, residents that know of a returning veteran are encouraged to go to the village’s website to fill out a form, which includes the name, biography and details of the serviceperson, as well as where and when they will return home.

Applicants will receive a response within 72 hours of submission.

Lombard Police Sgt. William Marks and the Community Relations Committee will coordinate with local authorities, elected officials and the Lombard VFW Lilac Post 5815 to organize the welcome.

One family has already submitted an application, Whittington said.

“I’m glad we now have an official program because the guys and girls returning are heroes,” he said.

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