New Milford welcomes Marine home
Rain did not deter a large crowd of residents from showering Marine Sgt. Liam Lynch with love Sunday on the Village Green in New Milford.
Veterans, Scouts, town officials and residents carried welcome home signs and waved American flags for Lynch in a surprise welcome home reception for the 2012 New Milford High School graduate.
“I thought we were going to breakfast,” Lynch, 24, said after stepping out of his parents’ vehicle and seeing the crowd gathered in his honor.
As Lynch made his way along the sidewalk — lined with friends and members of the community on both sides — he shook hands with individuals as they called out “Welcome home,” “Thank you for your service” and “We’re proud of you.”
Jeff McBreairty, commander of the Ezra Woods Post 31 in New Milford, presented Lynch with a certificate of thanks for his service.
Members of the American Legion, and Jim Delancy of the Andrew B. Mygatt VFW Post 1672 in New Milford and state commander of the VFW, were also present to receive Lynch.
Mayor Pete Bass invited residents who had not yet signed a “Welcome home” banner for the soldier — the banner had been available for signing at town hall in the days prior — to do so.
Lynch, a squad leader with Company A, 1st Batallion, 8th Regiment, returned from North Carolina, where he had been based, for a visit to his hometown.
He spent Mother’s Day with his family —including mother, Dawn-Marie, and stepfather, Stephen Looney — and on Monday headed west for down time.
“We’re very proud of him,” said Dawn-Marie, citing his commitment to the country and his accomplishments, including twice being meritoriously promoted.
She described her son as “humble,” acknowledging his surprise at the community’s response to his arrival back to town.
Dawn-Marie said Lynch, who is also the son of Jim Lynch of Florida, completed several deployments over the past five years.
He plans to pursue the National Guard Reserves.
The reception was organized by Terry McLaughlin, who created the NMCT Yellow Ribbon Committee on social media through which the community learned of the event.