Marine comes home to Christmas in May

May 3, 2010 (LOMBARD, Ill.) More than 100 people saluted DeGrenier from a parking lot at Lombard K-Mart store. They carried flags and welcome home signs.

In less than a week, Operation Welcome You Home Illinois put together the celebration, which included Lombard police, fire and public works. The community wanted to thank and pay their respect to DeGrenier for his serving his country

"It is really nice. I'm happy that this many people came out to support the troops," said Danny DeGrenier, U.S. marine corporal.

"You don't have to believe in the war but when you believe in the guys that are fighting, giving their lives, making sacrifices so we can be a free country," said Donna Morsovillo, Welcome You Home Illinois

The motorcade of supporters stopped at Montine High School so that the students could wave and welcome back home the former student.

"This is a wonderful honor. We're very proud of Danny," said Peggy DeGrenier.

DeGrenier has not been home for four Christmases so his family surprised him by setting up a Christmas tree decked out with gifts in his bedroom.

"It's relieving and at the same time it's a little overwhelming. I was a little surprised. I wasn't expecting the Christmas tree. It was difficult at times being away from home," said Marine Corporal Danny DeGrenier.

"It's terrific. It's really heartfelt and it's so good to see Dan after such a long time away. He's very welcome back here, for sure," said Ed DeGrenier, father.

"It's just such an honor for us to be part of this whole celebration with our son," said Peggy.

DeGrenier says he wants to enjoy the summer -- but plans to look for a job and start school. He wants to be a teacher.

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