TETERBORO, NJ - A Corporal in United States Marine Corps received a surprise on Sunday as he received a hero's welcome from the local community. The event was coordinated by A Hero's Welcome North Jersey.

Corporal Angel Vera had been deployed in Afghanistan for one year. He and his mother received a surprise escort from the Hackensack Police Department and the Warriors' Watch Riders. The convoy ended their trip at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse where they were greeted by dozens of members of the community, area residents, the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department and EMS, with American flags. Young children displayed homemade welcome posters.

"I did not expect any of this," said Vera. "It's just great to know that people back home come out here and do this. I'm overwhelmed right now."

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Vera received a certificate from A Hero's Welcome, stating, "One behalf of a grateful nation, we thank you for your service and sacrifice and dedication to the preservation of our freedom."

Rick Merchant of Warriors' Watch Riders presented Vera with a silver star from an American flag, to be carried as "as a reminder that You are not forgotten.". Vera shook hands and hugged every person who came out in the cold weather. Vera and his family were also treated to a welcome home dinner.

A Hero’s Welcome is an organization that insures all service members receive a proper welcome home. Warriors' Watch Riders is an umbrella group, organized to support U.S. servicemen, past and present, and their families.  They work closely with A Hero’s Welcome and other troop support groups providing motorcycle escorts for military personnel deploying or returning from home from service.  


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