Town welcomes soldier home

July 24, 2009 4:48:35 PM PDT
Stars and stripes lined the way as Sergeant Thomas Horvath arrived in his west suburban hometown of St. Charles on Friday. The 21-year-old has spent the last 12 months deployed in Afghanistan."It was a completely different world. You sort of feel sheltered in America after you sort of see the way other people live," said Sgt. Thomas Horvath.

The homecoming festivities were organized by the Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer organization that celebrates those in service. They presented him with an honorary coin and a schedule of the day's events.

"We want everybody to understand how much we appreciate those who are in the service of our country," said Judy Goldstein, Patriot Guard Riders.

There was no shortage of hugs and hearty handshakes, but no one was filled with more pride or emotion than the young soldier's parents.

"We are very blessed to have him standing here with us and I hope the other soldiers come home as well in as good of condition as he is," said Philomena Horvath, mother of Sgt. Horvath.

"It is unbelievable. I am so proud of him. It's twelve months of prayers. It's an awesome feeling," said Tom Horvath, father of Sgr. Horvath.

As for Sgt. Horvath, he's just happy for the warm welcome.

"This is unbelievable. This is so great. I'm so happy that everybody could come out," said Sgt. Horvath.

This was Sgt. Horvath's first tour of duty. He says he's most looking forward to reuniting with family and friends.


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