A Hero’s Welcome: Marine Cpl. Jack Foley Returns to Somers

Jack Foley while deployed overseas Credits: Jack Foley
The fire department’s message board displays a “welcome home” message for Foley. Credits: Jack Foley
An American flag hangs in support of Foley from a ladder truck at the Granite Springs firehouse. Credits: Jon Mackey

SOMERS, N.Y. - Jack Foley, a Somers resident and corporal in the United States Marine Corps, said he was “overwhelmed” by the amount of support shown to him while stationed overseas and during his homecoming last Thursday.

Foley, a 2012 graduate of Somers High School, joined the Marines in February 2013, the month he turned 18. Prior to that, he was enrolled in a cadet program. For the last four years, Foley has mostly been stationed in Camp Pendleton in California. In 2015, he was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. Foley said the Somers community reached out to him daily while overseas.

“There are a lot of organizations that reached out to me when I was deployed,” Foley said. “The whole town came together. Everyone in the community just reached out. It’s very overwhelming.”

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One of those organizations was Boy Scouts of America Troop 376, which, through United for the Troops, often sent Foley care packages filled with letters as well as entertainment, hygiene and food items. United for the Troops is a Yorktown-based organization that ships care packages to active military members.

“The overwhelming support from this town, there are no real words to describe it,” Foley said. “I could not believe it. I left this small town to try and go do bigger and better things, and everyone just reached out. I got letters every single day.”

Foley has returned home intermittently for the past four years, only staying in Somers for a day or two during the holidays. Last Thursday, Foley returned home for good, and was greeted by an unexpected convoy of first responders around 5:30 p.m. at the town line on Route 35. The Somers Volunteer Fire Department then escorted him to his home in Lincolndale.

“When we heard about Jack driving across the country when he completed his service, we wanted to make sure that his return home was memorable both for him and his family,” said Jon Mackey, second assistant chief of the Somers Volunteer Fire Department.

At the Granite Springs firehouse, Foley and company passed under a giant American flag that was raised by the department’s ladder truck.

“It really was a special moment for all of us to welcome him home,” Mackey said.

Foley said he was surprised by the gesture.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” he said. “We pulled up on the side of the road, I see a fire truck and said, ‘What’s going on here?’”

In Somers, where he will live with his parents, Foley said he will pick up where he left off volunteering with the fire department, which he joined at 16 years old.

“Jack has always been a community and public service minded individual even from such a young age,” Mackey said. “When Jack decided to join the Marines, we were sad to lose him but knew that he was doing a good thing.”

Foley said he will remain enlisted in the Marines Corps Reserves.

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