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Thursday
Nov072013

Returning Marines Receive Special Homecoming

Creatas/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- After serving their country in Afghanistan, 13 Marines got served up some first-class treatment on their return home.

The Marines endured five days of traveling just to get to San Diego International Airport but the last leg of their journey was made special after ex-Marine John Colas and now USO volunteer received a call from one of the wives who asked if the flight from Chicago to California could be made special.

Colas arranged to have fire trucks spew an archway of water as the Marines' plane taxied to the gate at O'Hare and had Chicago cops and firefighters form a corridor inside the terminal for the returning heroes.

Then it got even better.

Americans Airlines upgraded six of the Marines' tickets for the connecting flight to San Diego to first-class because of a half-dozen empty seats.  When passengers saw that the other seven Marines were stuck in coach, seven first-class fliers selflessly gave up their seats.

All the Marines were said to be deeply touched by the gestures of kindness that made their return home unforgettable.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio