With their sirens blazing, Cicero police and fire, along with bikers from the Warriors Watch, pulled up to the home of U.S Army Sergeants James and Yuying Masuca Tuesday morning to escort the couple to a Town Hall ceremony honoring their military service.
"They were pretty surprised," said Mike Havansek, Warriors Watch riders. "Yuying thought it was for her husband and then, actually, it was for both of them."
For Sergeants James and Yuying Masuca, it was not a traditional homecoming since they have been stateside for a while. They met in October 2010 in a waiting room at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. Formerly an intelligence officer stationed in Germany, she was in for foot surgery. He was learning to walk again and halfway through a four-year recovery after being shot seven times in Iraq.
"In 2007, we had a high value detainee that was Saddam," said Ret. Sgt. James Masuca. "We were transporting him back and forth at that time. I was working at the detention center. I got hurt on one of the field missions."
"Serving the Army was a great thing," said Ret. Sgt. Yuying Masuca. "I enjoyed my time. It's about brotherhood, it's about sisterhood. It's about helping out each other, guarding each other's back."
Back in Cicero for six months now, the town's board held a brief presentation for both the Masucas during their weekly meeting.
"We honor all our returning military people and all the sacrifices they have gone through," said Larry Dominick, Cicero town president. "To me, this is the least we can do.'
Between them, the Masucas have served 26 years of military service, and though their injuries have sidelined them, both insist they will find a way to continue to serve into the future.