Whether it's a "Miracle on 34th Street" or a miracle in New Lenox, that Santa Claus sure has a way of bringing families together for Christmas.
National Guard Army Sgt. Robert Bick arrived home late Saturday just in time for Christmas. Stationed the last four years in Kuwait, Bick has missed out on a lot of family time. He and his wife Rebecca have three daughters; he'd only once seen the baby, now six months old.
Readers might like to read about another homecoming on Saturday.
- Welcome Home to New Lenox: U.S. Marine Cpl. Thomas Lohnes
On Sunday, Bick was honored by the Soldiers Guardian Angels and the Warrior Watch Riders in a welcome home parade and escort. As his wife Rebecca and their three daughters watched, he stood tall and walked through flag line of military patriots who rallied at 2 p.m. at the Kmart parking lot for a parade and escort to a welcome home party on Edmonds Avenue.
"I wasn't even supposed to be home now," said Bick. "All I kept thinking is how I want to see the kids open their presents."
As flags surrounded Bick, a 2003 Lincoln-Way Central High School graduate, his wife began shedding tears of joy and pride.
"This is huge," said Rebecca. "Every day will be better than Christmas. There couldn't have been a better gift."
Readers migh like to watch holiday messages to the troops overseas.
- Video: Community Sends Holiday Messages to the Troops
Robert had only once seen the couple's youngest, who is only six months old. The couple and their children communicated by Skpe and phone calls for the past 11 months. "This is definitely the best Christmas ever," said Bick. "I won't have to see my children on a computer screen; now I get to see them face to face."
New Lenox police, community service officers and the New Lenox Fire Protection District joined the Soldiers Guardian Angels as they escorted the soldier and his family to a ceremony at a family member's home.
In the arms of her daddy, the couple's middle daughter, 18-month-od Kiera, held tight to the man she now has time to get to know. And huddling close to her parents, 7-year-old Hannah looked up at the man who was being honored. She said, "My daddy's home."
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