Hero’s welcome for SGT J.P. Kelly

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Greeting returning National Guardsman SGT JP Kelly were a few students in Pam Truman's second grade class at Apollo Elementary. JP's younger brother Eli Kelly and his 16 classmates created stars with their names on the welcome home poster, with the words "You are our hero."
From left are Cody Higgins, Mrs. Truman, Logan Marston and Gage McCullough.

SGT John Patrick Kelly from Bravo Troop Second Squadron of the 106th Cavalry returned to his hometown of Aledo Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, with a hero’s welcome.

A group of around 20 from the Bravo Second returned home from Afghaqnistan, arriving first at Ft. McCoy, Wis., then to a brief ceremony at the Dixon Armory in Dixon. JP Kelly then traveled to Milan where a number of other family members met him to continue the trip through Mercer County. Around 10 Patriot Guard motorcyclists led the caravan from Milan, through Preemption, Viola and then to Aledo Central Park where around 100 people were gathered to welcome him home.

Making the trip to the Dixon Armory for the closing ceremony were his mother Kathy Beck and her husband Wayne Beck, JP’s sister Lindsay Schweninger and her husband Wayne Schweninger and nephew Ty and his brother Michael Kelly.

That group then headed to Milan to meet up with the rest of JP’s family. The parade finally ended up in Aledo at around 7:15 p.m. There were a lot of hugs, smiles and a few tears to greet J.P. that evening.

"I’m so happy to have him home and safe,” said JP’s mother Kathie.

JP Kelly is a 2007 graduate of Aledo High School.

For more on this story, see the Oct. 7, 2009 issue of The Times Record.

SGT John Patrick Kelly, was greeted by family, friends and well wishers. He returned to Aledo Monday night, Sept. 28, 2009 after nearly a year in the Middle East.