Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome Home !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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U.S. Army Reserve Sgts. Amanda Lempera and Daniel Koch are greeted by members of the Soldiers Guardian Angels and Warriors' Watch Riders during a homecoming celebration Saturday. | Mike Nolan
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Updated: January 7, 2012 8:52PM

The men and women inside William Martin VFW Post 725 in Mokena bowed their heads, offering a prayer for the safe arrival home of military personnel serving overseas.
Among them Saturday afternoon were Daniel Koch and Amanda Lempera, both sergeants in the U.S. Army Reserve who returned to the Southland just before Christmas after being deployed to Afghanistan.
After words of prayer and thanks and a presentation by Koch and Lempera to their parents of U.S. flags that had been flown over the soldiers’ bases in Afghanistan, Lempera issued the marching orders.
“Let’s party,” she yelled.
It was, after all, a celebratory homecoming for the pair, who were reuniting with family and friends they hadn’t seen in many months.
They began dating after they graduated from Lincoln-Way Central High School and most recently served together in the same reserve unit.
Koch enlisted in the Army after he graduated in 2001 and saw three tours of duty overseas — twice deployed to Iraq and then to Afghanistan last March.
Lempera, from Manhattan, joined the reserves after she graduated in 2002, and in addition to Afghanistan, she also had a tour of duty in Iraq.
“It’s nice to be back,” she said.
While they were able to call home frequently while overseas, they couldn’t tell their families exactly where they were, or what they were doing. Donna Lempera said her daughter left for her most recent deployment nearly a year ago.
“It’s the longest we’ve ever gone without seeing each other,” she said.
Amanda is Donna and her husband’s only child, and Donna said she was a bit apprehensive at first when her daughter told her she was joining the Army.
“There’s always a degree of nervousness,” she said. “You don’t know what to expect.”
While she was able to communicate with her family frequently, Amanda Lempera said that “talking on the phone is not the same” as seeing them in person.
Koch’s parents, who live in Mokena, sent care packages to their son — bags of Doritos and the latest movies on DVD — and talked frequently, his father, Mike, said. They both enjoy hunting, and that often worked its way into the discussion, although Mike Koch broke his left arm last month, ending any father-son hunting excursions for a while.
Both military police officers in the reserves, Koch, 29, is studying toward a degree in criminal justice, while Lempera, 27, is working on her master’s degree in modern world history. They live in Frankfort, although they are attending school downstate.
Is an engagement in their future?
“Maybe,” Koch said.
Members of the Soldiers Guardian Angels and Warriors’ Watch Riders provided a motorcycle escort for Koch and Lempera from Frankfort to the VFW post.
The convoy also included Army trucks owned by members of a group that restores antique military vehicles. One of its members is Mokena Mayor Joe Werner.
The 21/2-ton truck he bought from a farmer in December 2009 led the convoy, and its one of several military vehicles he owns, including an ambulance he’s currently refurbishing. The M35A2 cargo truck, known as a “deuce and a half,” commemorates Werner’s father and father-in-law, bearing the numbers of the military they served in.


  1. Conservatives.
    Why do I say that? Because, it's conservative groups that wait at airports and form a receiving line to welcome deployed soldiers home, shake hands, thank them and, let them know that all the shit they've put up with is understood and apreciated.
    Groups like the VFW and the American legion who not only welcome them home but, understand what it's like to come home and also, tend the graves of those who didn't.
    It's also groups like the Patriot guard who make sure that our fallen and their families are afforded every bit of dignity and respect they deserve.
    I've been to a few Pariot guard runs and I'll tell you, for 50 - 100 grizzled old bikers to form an honor guard for a kid they've never met and, a family they may never see again, you'd be hard pressed to find a dry eye in the lot.

    I've yet to find a liberal organization of any kind that does more than just shit on our soldiers, sailors, marines and, airmen.

  2. Johnny,

    Great post - I love those stories.


    Right on - you are exactly right.

  3. Sepp,
    Spot on with your comment. Locally there was such an event for the son of a close friend killed in Mosul. The turn-out was 500+ bikers. Not a dry eye was to be seen.

    Liberals possess no such compasion or patriotism. The only time they are seen with an American flag is for a photo-op.


    Good post

  4. Yeah, but then they say "all this for a flag?"

    The flag is an idea, a theme, a symbol of greatness and great people, a memorial to our fallen. It is not just a colored piece of cloth.

  5. Sepp- You may be right. But, even though there may be a lack of Liberal groups, I just don't look at it that way. I don't see it as Rep./Dem.
    I see it as citizens who truly hold these soldiers in the highest regard. For everything they've sacrificed, just to preserve our rights. It's the ultimate is unselfishness, and should be commended. I have been honored to ride with the Warriors' Watch Riders, but I don't consider myself a Conservative.

    Not yet at least..... :)

  6. TGP- I would say that the flag is our Cloak of Freedom.

  7. Have you noticed that none of the PILEs have visited?

    Not even a mention of patriotism lays in their bones. No surprise really. Retards.

  8. I've noticed. They have been absent on every one of Johnny's welcome home posts. Even veteran and former Naval officer Jeff has never posted a reply. Bullshit.

  9. Johnny, I'm not staunchly conservative on every issue either. I hold some viewpoints that my conservative bretheren certainly don't.

    My views as a whole pretty much make me a conservative whether I want that tag or, not.

    Liberalism just has more points and ideals that run counter to common sense and, seem to be self-destructive within a group that is apparently self-loathing too.

    I don't see conservatives hating America. I see them disagreeing with it's management but, NOT hating it for it's ideals or, what it was intended to be.

    I don't see them shitting on the military although many of us disagree with how it's been used.

    Not every conservative is a gun owner but, they aren't trying to prevent everyone else from excercising their right to be one.

    Nor, is every conservative religious but, you don't seem to see them trying to shit on those who do worship God and aren't hurting anyone...nor do they view words like "thou shall not kill" as a threat to their liberties and demand it be erased from being viewed in public.

    Conservatives don't demand that the government use it's power of force, coercion or, courts to penalize you for not embracing a conservative viewpoint.

    You don't see conservatives embracing communism
    You don't see conservatives embracing socialism.
    You don't see conservatives shitting on flags and cop cars.
    You don't see conservatives rooting for the release of convicted cop killers or, terrorists.
    You don't see conservatives defending pedophiles as people's "lifestyle choice".

    But, you can see liberals supporting / doing all of the above all the time.

    It's just a matter of choosing who and what you're willing to associate yourself with in public.

  10. " Even veteran and former Naval officer Jeff has never posted a reply."

    That's because ol Jeffio can't seem to determine whether he served or, not.
    One post he says he never served, the next post he says his wife served...the next one he was an officer.

    I'm guessing that each of his mulitple personalities lived different lives / lifestyles at the same time.
    "Jeff" is a war hero.
    "Gio" is a hippie.
    "NoN" is a combo-platter.
    And "flsfejhfi480329407" is the resulting confusion of all the other profiles clashing.

  11. Sepp,

    The statement he made that proves he didn't serve was that officers do all the thinking. Shit. No offense, CS. But officers make edicts, NCOs think of ways to make them happen.

  12. Tenth,

    No offense taken. I would like to think that we were all working off the same playbook. I always thought of myself more as the player-coach rather than Der Fuhrer. But since I was ultimately responsible - more often than not we did it my way. Truth be told - there were a lot of times that those NCOs were happy to have me around.

  13. I don't doubt that, but I think you would admit that a good percentage of officers ignore their NCOs at their own peril, while your better officers seek and usually agree with the advice of their NCOs. At least junior officers. Perhaps by the time they make captain, they have learned the ropes enough to know what can and can't be done, but to quote one of my favorite Marines, Killer Ken McCoy, "Would you be eager to be a second lieutenant after all the second lieutenants you've known?"