US Army SPC Rosalio "Charlie" Aguirre, an Aurora resident, recently arrived home from Operation Enduring Freedom.
And Operation Welcome You Home (OWYH) was there to give him a hero’s welcome on Sunday afternoon.
A huge crowd of well-wishers and members of Naperville-based OWYH drove to Aguirre’s family home in Aurora with a fleet of motorcycles, five fire engines, ambulances, police cars and many cars and trucks flying flags and honking in earnest.
Verna O’Brien was part of the motorcycle group and said she had done many ‘welcomes’ before.
“It’s always an honor,” said the Romeoville resident.
Aguirre was born in Aurora and attended West Aurora High School. He served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in the Army and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.
He was near speechless as the crowd stood in line to shake his hand, give him a hug and welcome him back home.
“Thank you. Thank you,” he said returning each hug with enthusiasm.
He was presented several gifts on behalf of Operation Welcome You Home and its members, including a hand-crocheted scart, a knitted hat, a flag with signatures from community members and a beaded band to honor all veterans.
Aguirre showed his tattoo at the urging of a friend in the crowd, which displays a black sillouteed figure and the words POW and MIA at the top. “Never forget,” said Aguiree.
“This is a great welcome home,” said Aguirre, tears forming in his eyes. “I love it. Thank you all so much for your support.”