SOUTH BEND —
Going through Goshen
There was also excitement in the Maple City as the Marines’ caravan zipped through town around 1:15 p.m.
Turning out to say “thank you” to the Marines were St. John the Evangelist Catholic School students and their teachers. The students made banners with painted handprints and markers that read “Thank You” and they carried American flags from their school to Main Street.
As the cavalcade of police cars and the buses carrying the Marines turned the corner of U.S. 33 and Ind. 15 in Goshen, the students waved, saluted and proudly displayed their banners. Their enthusiasm to greet the Marines earned them honks from the bus drivers.
Up the road a spell at VFW Post 985, a small pack of veterans and military supporters waited in the parking lot along U.S. 33 for the buses to pass.
Among them was Dick Klase who served in the 38th Division of the Army National Guard from 1952 to 1958. As the buses rolled past, Klase stood at attention and saluted.
“It’s just good,” he said, “to have them back.”
The sounds of arrival
People stood against the fence in the parking lot and looked around as sirens echoed in the distance, and signaling the imminent arrival of the motorcade.
“Where are they, where are they!?” families asked each other, and began clapping and waving as the motorcade rounded the corner into the parking lot.
Elkhart and Goshen police were part of the Honor Guard welcoming the reservists home. They included Jeff Gorball, Mike Janis, Mark Daggy, Shanye Miller, Honor Guard Commander Kevin Koontz and Jeff Schrock.
“It’s an honor to be allowed to come and help show support,” Schrock said. “It’s another honor to be allowed to carry the colors.”
After the buses passed by the waiting group, everyone filed back indoors to wait until their Marines had turned in their final paperwork before being released.
“We have to see that young man come home now,” Claudia Martin said, smiling.
Everyone was ready for their men to come home.
Managing Editor Michael Wanbaugh and Regional Editor Sheila Selman contributed to this report.