Marine Receives Warm Homecoming in Tinley Park (Photos)

Friends, family and local volunteers greeted Cody Klaver, a Marine lance corporal, Thursday after he returned home from a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.

Cody Klaver, a U.S. Marine lance corporal, received a warm homecoming Thursday night after his first tour of duty, serving seven months in Afghanistan.

Local volunteers from several groups—including Soldiers Guardian Angels, the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, the Ridgewood Riding Club and M&M Riding Club—along with Tinley Park Police officers and firefighters in Tinley Park and Frankfort, made sure that Klaver knew how appreciated he is and how happy they were to have him home for the holidays with his family and friends.

After a brief meet and greet in Tinley Park at the Super Kmart, the groups led a procession with Klaver and his family back to his home near 80th Avenue in Frankfort Square, where neighbors and friends greeted him with more cheers and thankfulness.

Check out Patch's photo gallery to see the Marine's return home.


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Harry Callahan December 14, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Boy,this rah rah wasn't present in my Viet Nam days,I just wonder why since so many oppose these fronts in Iraq and Afgan,it just breaks my heart how many of VN Vets were treated like garbage,one question is it real or is it and act???????????
Bob Laird December 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I missed the VN era by a few years, graduated HS in 76, but I'm still ashamed of what "our" people did when they returned. Also ashamed of myself for not contributing. I'm glad to see that the country is respecting the men and women that are serving now. Maybe some of the draft dodgers that were chanting "baby killers" are feeling a little remorse?
Bill Klaver December 14, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Mr Callahan, I would say that it was real. Most of the bikers you see are Marines, ex Navy, or ex Army. Some of them are Korean, Vietnam, Iraq 1 and Iraq 2 vets. I have gotten to know these guys and they express their greatest support for my son. The others you see are friends, neighbors, parents and kids I have coached, and even people who didn't know my son but came up to him and said "Hi, I am from Joliet and really don't know anyone here but I wanted to thank you for MY freedoms". I don't think people standing out in the cold of December are acting.
Chris December 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I was wondering what happened last night I was on 171st when they came down harlem.
Deb Melchert December 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM
@ H Callahan, I can assure you that it was NOT an act, well maybe it was, but it was an act of love and appreciation. As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Legion Riders, the Patriot Guard Riders, the Soldiers Guardian Angels and the Warrior Watch Riders, the folks you see attending these welcome homes and sadly escorts for a fallen veteran are there simply to say thank you for your service. We have done these events regardless of weather and traveled as far as 100 miles 1 way to say thank you. We have met planes at the airport to escort a fallen soldier and the family to a funeral home, stood a flag line, then escorted them to his and yes her final resting place.That is not and never will be a charade or an act for the media cameras. It’s done with honor and respect out of love for our vets and our country. You’re right about how our VN vets were treated. I will go to my grave believing that the way VN vets were treated will forever be a stain on the soul of our great nation. Contrary to what the media may portray, I firmly believe that there are a lot more people who support our military than those who don't. This Christmas Day, American Legion Post 615 will be hosting 40+ recruits from Naval Station Great Lakes, vets from the Manteno Veterans Home and also some homeless vets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'd like to invite you to stop in and say hello and would like to buy you a drink and say thank you for your service. Sign me, bleeds red, white & blue
Kathy December 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
My boyfriend was driving the limo for the family and told me to go to 80th ave as they were approaching. It was the most beautiful moment. I had chills and just felt so proud to be an American. I have never met Cody Klvaer but felt honored to be able to be a part of his homecoming. Thanks Cody for fighting for the freedom of all Americans and Welcome Home:)
Deb Melchert December 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Sorry for some of the abbreviations above, but I was exceeding the maximum amount of characters allowed. When it comes to our military and our veterans, I take it to heart and have to speak my peace. Always remember, real heroes don't wear capes, they wear dog tags!
Deb Melchert December 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Ed, as soon as you have a confirmed date, you can email the Patriot Guard Riders, the Soldiers Guardian Angels and the Warrior Watch Riders. The Legion and VFW posts, you can just call and they'll put you in contact with the person who organizes the events. Give me a few minutes and I'll post email addresses for the above mentioned groups
Ed Rocks December 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I would love to do the same for my son when he comes back from. Afghanistan , how do u I organize such a thing , who do I call ? i want to make it speacial , plus my son will be honored by also getting a higher rank a commisioned officer, so i would love to make his return with such pride as this young man had , can u help, ?
Deb Melchert December 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Before I add the contacts, I’d like to point out that these organizations do not just show up on their own. Their attendance is ONLY by request of the family or someone they appoint as a liaison for contact purposes. Yes, many of the members are veterans, and many like myself are not. The fact is, we’re all there for the same purpose, to support our veterans, their families and our veterans organizations. Please note that every single person who belongs to any of these organizations is a volunteer. A great many of them work full time. My point is that we never know how many people will show up. A lot depends on the time and place. But rest assured, whether 2 dozen or 200, someone will always show up! Patriot Guard Riders, email dozer@patriotguard.org Soldiers Guardian Angels, email sgangels@comcast.net Warrior Watch Riders, use this link http://www.warriorswatch.org/?page_id=12 Legion Riders, email Donnie Moore at Donmuff1@aol.com Tinley Park VFW Post 2791, call 532-2333
Bill Klaver December 14, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Ed, Let me tell you that all of the above organizations were extremely helpful. I cannot express how cool the guys from Leatherneck, Ridgewood, Patriot Guard, M&M, were. Sean Henson rides with Leatherneck and Ridgewood and let me tell you he did everything. He reached out to the police and fire and I believe Soldiers Guardian Angels but Deb can correct me if I am wrong. Each group made a presentation that blew us away. I hope your son returns safe and we can honor him like we did Cody.
Deb Melchert December 14, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Bill, yes each group usually does make some sort of presentation. And many people belong to multiple organizations. And yes, the groups usually do contact and coordinate with law enforcement and the fire department. I'd like to stress once again, the sooner you can contact them with a date, the better, but getting an "extremely short notice" email does happen. Bill, we're sorry we missed the chance to welcome home Cody and thank him, so please give him a hug and our sincerest thanks from my husband, myself and our sons.
Ed Rocks December 14, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Thank you so much deb and bill
Harry Callahan December 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Mr. Klaver,but why now,before during the Bush era all you got was the body count and the sight of coffins of our military men and women from the so call patriot media.You even had a comment from the Sen. Dickie Durbin calling our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afgan. a bunch of Nazis and women and child killers,hes still a Senator of Illinois and probably many of you and yourself voted for him and obama,Sorry pal I don't buy it,but I'm glad your son made it HOME safe, I did to along with others but I feel its more and act than sincere.


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