Special homecoming for Oak Lawn soldier

August 17, 2008 3:22:22 PM PDT
An Oak Lawn soldier's who had spent the last 27 months in Iraq was honored at a surprise 'welcome home' celebration Sunday. U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Ocasio took his escort home from Midway airport and award ceremony in stride.

The organization "The Soldiers' Guardian Angels," the USO and Village of Oak Lawn were among the groups who coordinated the celebration with the Ocasio family.

Sgt. Ocasio was just 17 years old when he enlisted in 2004. He seemed slightly embarrassed Sunday by all of the attention he was receiving.

"Thanks for coming out. I appreciate it. It's just a job to tell you the truth. I've only got five months left, and I'm done," he said.

"It's extremely rough. I mean, all you can do is pray about it and hope for the best. And when you do talk to him, make sure you cherish that moment, especially when he's home," the soldier's brother Benjamin Ocasio said.

Sgt. Ocasio says he plans to attend the police academy when he's home for good. He hopes to become an officer in either Chicago Ridge or Oak Lawn.


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