Army Captain Dan Johnson returned home from his third deployment to the Middle East on Saturday—this time from Afghanistan—to a warm reception at the Johnson-Phelps VFW Post 5220.
Johnson was met at the Chicago Ridge Mall by the Illinois Freedom Riders. The motorcycle motorcade escorted him back to the VFW post down 95th Street, his mom, Betty, riding on the back of a Harley.
“I loved it,” Betty said. “I can cross it off my bucket list.”
A few residents lined Yurell Avenue along with the post faithful to greet the Bronze Star recipient.
Used to going wherever the army sends him, Johnson still hadn’t been home to his Oak Lawn condo when he bounded out of the car in his army fatigues greeting well-wishers braving the cold.
The army captain’s mother, Betty Johnson, of Mt. Greenwood, said she was just glad to have her son home in the flesh. On Christmas, the family and Johnson opened their presents together on Skype.
Watch the video of Capt. Johnson's homecoming.
Johnson said what he missed most being away from Oak Lawn was the VFW Post.
“It’s a great place to gather with all the great men and women who keep it going,” he said.
Johnson’s father, Roy, a member of VFW Post 5220 was in tears as he stroked his son’s hair and thanked everyone for coming out.
Johnson was eager to enjoy some pizza and a beer, and kick back with his family.
The first drink was on the post.