Monday, March 4, 2013
The Brother Rice and St. John Fisher graduate was honored with a memorial in the park where he spent much of his childhood.
It has been a year since mourners lined South Side streets. A year since students stood outside Brother Rice High School holding American flags and bowing their heads. A year since Beverly neighbors crowded into St. John Fisher Church to pay their final respects. It has been a year since Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry, 24, died in Afghanistan. On a cold and snowy Chicago day, Lowry's memory was honored with the dedication of a street in his name and sculpture in his neighborhood park. Family, friends, neighbors and community members huddled together to pay tribute to a young man who made the ultimate sacrifice. Lowry's mother, Modie Lavin, lead the project to honor her son with a permanent neighborhood memorial. The sculpture in Beverly Park, …
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Capt. Dan Johnson returns home to Oak Lawn from third deployment to Middle East as a bronze star recipient. Watch the video.
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. Connect with Patch: Oak Lawn / Beverly-Mt. Greenwood / Evergreen Park “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 …
Monday, October 29, 2012
Cpl. Conner Lowry was killed in Afghanistan last March. His family has organized a scholarship fund and annual race to keep his memory alive.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Dan Lambert
Monday, October 29, 2012
It has been almost eight months since Cpl. Conner Lowry was killed in duty while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. The 24-year-old Beverly resident was a graduate of St. John Fisher and Brother Rice High School. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets of area communities as his body was transported home from Midway Airport this past March. This Sunday, hundreds once again gathered for Lowry. This time it wasn't with sadness, but with hope that they stood together. Hope for the future, a future in which Conner's legacy will be felt for generations to come. The first annual Freedom Isn't Free 5K Run/Walk was held on Oct. 28 near Lowry's alma mater, Brother Rice High School. Over 500 runners took part in what is sure to be an annual …
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Army Pfc. Ryan Kennedy died near his base in Colorado. He was a 2008 graduate of the school and hundreds of students lined Pulaski Road as his funeral cortege passed by.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- Dan Lambert
Saturday, August 11, 2012
On Aug. 10 hundreds of young men and members of the Brother Rice High School community lined Pulaski Road holding American flags as the funeral cortege of Army Pfc. Ryan Kennedy passed by. Kennedy's family exited their vehicle and stood in front of the school as the band played Taps. Rife with emotion, Kennedy's mother Linda listened and softly sobbed. In a Sun-Times Media interview, Linda Kennedy detailed the emotional state her son was in during the final months of his life. He served in Afghanistan and survived an explosion in 2009. On Aug. 2 he took his own life. The photos show a family in mourning and a community reaching out to honor and comfort.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Army Staff Sgt. Luis Aponte Fontanez surprised his wife and children at the Oak View Center by returning home a month early from Afghanistan—and Patch was part of the ruse. Watch the video to see his family's reaction.
OUTSIDE CHICAGO, IL --When the Oak Lawn Park District lured Diana Cornejo with the promise of filming a video to send to her husband in Afghanistan, she thought it would be wonderful if he stepped into the room and surprised her. “I never get surprises,” she said. “He was going to see the video so I was excited by that.” Army Staff Sgt. Luis Aponte Fontanez wasn’t due home until next month. Diana, who says she never gets surprises, was in the middle of filming her “message” when Luis entered the room carrying a dozen roses on Saturday. Running into his arms, Diana hugged Luis around his neck. “Were you surprised?” he asked. Wiping away tears of joy, Diana watched their children line up for hugs from their dad, whom they haven’t seen for …
Friday, March 9, 2012
Massive outpouring of well-wishers watch solemn procession for Cpl. Conner Lowry.
Conner Lowry left the South Side a man, but returned home a hero who gave his life to something bigger than himself. Hundreds of well-wishers, high school students and schoolchildren lined the streets of Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park and Mt. Greenwood, to watch the fallen Marine’s homecoming to the Beverly neighborhood that he loved and where he had grown up as a boy. Watch the video of CPL. LOWRY's motorcade. Lowry, 24, died during combat operations in Afghanistan on March 1, just four months shy of returning home to Chicago. Lowry’s body arrived early Friday morning at Midway Airport, where a motorcade bearing his casket made the sad trek down Cicero Avenue, escorted by a motorcycle contingent from the Illinois Patriot Guard. The motorcade …
Friday, March 2, 2012
Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry, 24, of Beverly, died in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Chicago Tribune reported that a Beverly Marine was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday. Cpl. Conner Lowry, 24, was a gunner riding on a Humvee when he was killed, according to his family. Lowry attended St. John Fisher School and was an alumnus of Brother Rice High School. A family friend, sixth-grade teacher Christine McElroy at Christ the King School, and her students were preparing to send Lowry a care package for St. Patrick's Day, according to the Southtown-Star. The Marine corporal was attending the University of Iowa when he enlisted in the military. His family said he had been in Afghanistan since October.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Oak Lawn rolls out the red carpet for hero returning from Afghanistan, Pvt. Jake Hurst, and his brother, Pvt. John Hurst, who is going there next month.
Mary Hurst and her fiancé, Jerry Kendrick, put their wedding off as long as they could so that Mary’s two oldest sons—one just home from a tour in Afghanistan, the other leaving next month—could escort their mom down the aisle when she weds today at Gaelic Park. “They are going to walk me down the aisle in their uniforms,” Mary said. “We didn’t know they’d be here. It all fell into place. This is God’s blessing. It would not have been this great without them.” Jake Hurst, 24, a private in the U.S. Army, arrived in Oak Lawn Wednesday after a 12-month deployment in the Wardick province of Afghanistan. His paratrooper brother, John, 28, also an Army private, is heading for Afghanistan next month. The warrior brothers were overwhelmed by the …
Monday, July 18, 2011
Local community members joined together to support wounded army ranger Sgt. Brad Hojek, Jr. at the “Ranger Up- Healing Sgt. Brad Hojek, Jr” benefit at 115 Bourbon Street on July 17.
After coming home to a humbling hero's welcome last week, Evergreen Park native Sgt. Brad Hojek, Jr.'s family and friends hosted a benefit in his honor Sunday. While on deployment in Afghanistan in March with the United States Army, Hojek was wounded on a remote mission, an experience that he said changed his life. Hojek was shot multiple times, injuring him badly in the hip and pelvis. Loved ones held the benefit to raise money to defray the cost for family members who travel to a military hospital in Texas to assist him in his recovery. “People have the kindest hearts,” Cathy Hojek, Brad’s aunt, said while giving Brad’s mom, Terry Manley, a hug. Manley said, “It’s amazing. People are here supporting us that don’t even know us.” A 2006 …
Friday, July 15, 2011
Brad Hojek Jr. is welcomed home by more than 100 friends, family and guests with a flag lining ceremony, gifts and gratitude.
Army Ranger Sgt. Brad Hojek Jr. returned home to Oak Lawn on Thursday, July 14, in a police and motorcycle led procession, while riding in a white limo with his family. Hojek emerged from the limo and for the next 45 minutes was welcomed with hugs, handshakes and thanks. Hojek will be home through the weekend and will attend the Ranger Up Healing Sgt. Brad Hojek Jr. event on Sunday, July 17, at 115 Bourbon Street in Marionette Park. Tickets for the event can be purchased at the events online or at the door. After the event, Hojek will return to his unit, which is currently stationed in the United States while it waits to return to Afganistan at a later date.