HUNTLEY – Sirens blasted and horns honked Sunday as Army Sgt. Daniel Bacino was driven into the town square. Friends, family and members of Huntley Cub Scout Pack 267 held flags and took pictures as Bacino arrived.
When he exited the Route 47 Taxi limousine, there was applause for the military man in civilian clothes who returned home to his mother, Nancy Rubino; stepfather, Frank Rubino; and sister, Emily Rubino.
Bacino returned to the village Sunday as his more than four years in the Army is scheduled to end next month.
“I’m just going to take a few weeks off and relax, and get everything situated back here, and go from there,” Bacino said.
Bacino, who served in artillery, had two yearlong tours – one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. His enlistment in the Army ends Oct. 28. He was based in Schweinfurt, Germany.
In Iraq, his unit helped with security details and running convoys. In Afghanistan, he helped provide artillery support during infantry operations.
“You wake up every day and go do the mission,” Bacino said.
Bacino, 25, received a membership to the American Legion and a red, white and blue quilt as tokens of appreciation for his service.
Deployment can be lonely for a soldier, said J.R. Westberg, the senior vice commander of Huntley American Legion Post 673.
“They see things most of us can only view through a lens of a camera, in the perception of a film director, but for them it is very real,” Westberg said.
Bacino, a 2005 Huntley High School graduate, plans to study heating and air conditioning.
“I like working with my hands, and it seems like a good labor job,” Bacino said.
Bacino was humble in his remarks to the crowd that welcomed him home.
“I thank you more than you guys can thank me with all the support you have given,” he said.
After driving back from O’Hare International Airport, Bacino was met by the Huntley Police Department, Huntley Fire Department and members of the Illinois Patriot Guard Riders at the Jewel-Osco in Huntley. He didn’t know they would be escorting him to a celebration at the town square.
Bacino said he wasn’t sure what he would have said if he knew there was a welcome-home celebration.
“I hate public speaking. I hate being in the spotlight,” Bacino said. “That’s not why I did this. That’s just not who I am. I just like ... being in the background.”