A soldier comes home

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After what seemed like a very long wait, the train finally appeared out of the darkness, its bright white headlight approaching the station. The small crowd cheered, and Liz could barely contain her excitement. Finally the train stopped, the doors opened and Liguori stepped out, dragging his large camouflage bag, a big smile on his face. Liz, his father, Steven, his sisters, Caitlin and Margaret, and his brother, Jack, ran to him. His mother was the first to reach him as the rest of the family surrounded them in a group hug. “The whole family was like a bunch of little kids waiting for Santa,” said Liz. “It was a long year, and we’re so happy to have him home.”

A welcoming celebration
When the family made its way down from the platform, they were met by the Tally-Ho firefighters, who blew the fire truck’s siren as a welcome. Liguori rode in the officer’s seat back to the firehouse on Horton Avenue, where a celebration was set to begin.

As the fire truck turned from Sunrise Highway onto Horton, an oversized American flag hung from the raised ladders of Lynbrook’s Truck Company and a truck from the Valley Stream Fire Department. As the Tally-Ho truck drove slowly under the flag, which waved gently in the cold breeze, Liguori looked up at it and said, “Thanks, guys.”

A large crowd of even more family members, friends, neighbors and firefighters stood out in front of the firehouse, waiting for him. As Liguori stepped out of the truck, they cheered, and each got a chance to kiss him, hug him or shake his hand. Then everyone went inside, where Liguori’s firefighter’s turnout coat was returned to him.

Now it was time to celebrate a soldier coming home.

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