Dozens lined a bridge into a Massachusetts town Saturday to surprise a U.S. Army soldier who returned home from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.
Beau Schlichting arrived home in Winthrop with a police escort and those who turned out to greet him were holding American flags and signs of support.
Beau’s mother Holly Schlichting told Fox 25 Boston that the greeting was overwhelming.
“Very overwhelming and very surprising because it is cold and people are very busy, so I’m really proud that all of our friends and family came out to support us,” she said. “We have a great community here.”
Winthrop often surprises those who return after their deployment, according to the station.
“They do this for anyone coming home, it’s not just Beau,” Butch Schlichting, an uncle, told the station.
Friends and neighbors said holding the surprise homecoming for Schlichting was the least they could do for someone who has given so much.
“We’re thrilled that he’s here, home, safe and sound,” neighbor Terry Lawlor told the station.