Anyone wishing to give a big "Welcome Home" surprise to a Lombard resident serving in the military can now do so with help from the village.
Residents who know of a returning veteran are encouraged to fill out a new form at villageoflombard.org to schedule a welcome home celebration.
The form can be accessed by clicking "Welcome Home Veterans" on the home page. It asks for the name of the returning man or woman, a brief biography with details about their service and when the homecoming will take place.
Someone will respond to the requests within 72 hours of submission. Sgt. William Marks of the Lombard Police Department and the community relations committee will work with police officers, firefighters, elected officials and VFW Lilac Post 5815 to organize a memorable homecoming.
Communications Coordinator Bridget Doyle said there are at least two families who already have expressed interest in the program.
The idea to formalize the homecomings came from Trustee Dan Whittington, who helped gather Lombard police and firefighters together a few months ago to greet a young veteran who was returning home after serving in the Middle East.
"I think it's a great opportunity to say thank you," he said, adding that the village can customize the homecoming for each veteran.
Some ideas include meeting in a parking lot to have a motorcycle procession to a meeting at the VFW hall or the veterans home, Whittington said.
Anyone with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 620-5718.