Patriot Guard members held up flags and joined relatives and friends in cheering and hugging Marine Corporal Jordan Pugliese.
The corporal from far north suburban Grayslake, who is serving in Afghanistan, was granted leave to attend the wedding. He called the welcome a surprise.
"I wasn't expecting anything like this," said Cpl. Pugliese. "I figured I was just gonna go home and take a nap or something. This is far nicer than a nap. Thank you for all showing up on this Thanksgiving. This is the best Thanksgiving I've ever had."
Members of the Grayslake Police Department were also on hand to thank him for his military service.