Father’s Day took an especially meaningful turn this year for an Oak Lawn, Illinois family, and a classic Corvette was right there in the mix.
Escorted by a convoy of Warrior Watch Riders, Lance Marine L Cpl Joseph Harr came rolling up Sunday afternoon in a 1962 red Corvette, home for a few days from a tour in Afghanistan.
“I told him the Vette was his for the next 23 days,” said his dad, William Harr, who had won the car in a raffle. “He can do whatever he wants with it.”
The 20-year-old serviceman returned to the cheers of 250-plus friends and neighbors, including Mayor Dave Hellman. Many of them took an extra moment to check out the vintage muscle car, too.
“What a homecoming to have him come home on Father’s Day,” the mayor said. “Every time a soldier returns, there should be this kind of event. He’s 20 years old and serving our country.”
Among the stops while Herr is home for a few days of R&R will be a White Sox-Cubs baseball game. Don’t worry which team he’ll be rooting for; he’s a diehard White Sox fan.
LCpl Harr also is glad to be able to enjoy Giordano’s Pizza now that’s he back. “You gotta love it,” he said. “I was looking forward to that and, of course, I missed my family, my girlfriend, Taylor, and my buddies here.”
Not to be left out, his mom, Sue Sommerville, told a Patch reporter that she has been sending care packages to Joe for months. “At Christmas I sent a Christmas tree and ornaments, goofy little things like that,” she said.
Since all soldiers don’t have a support system like Joe’s, she has continued to collect items for a mothers’ organization that sends them out to guys in the service. “Some kids don’t get that much, Joe got a lot,” she pointed out.
Sunday, he even got some more presents from Soldiers Guardian Angels and Warrior Watch Riders.
But the best gift of all – for him and his family – was just being home.
“I’m so happy my son is home,” she said. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
You can see more photos of the joyous homecoming at Oaklawn.patch.com.
Credit: Mary Compton
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