ZELIENOPLE (KDKA) — It was an unexpected surprise for Staff Sergeant Jesse Hogan, 30. Hogan serves in the Army National Guard.
“I assumed it would just be my family, my mom and dad, and all these people showed up,” Staff Sergeant Jesse Hogan said, stunned.
67 motorcycles from the American Legion lined up outside the terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport.
“It’s an awesome feeling for the people we’ve escorted. Had them come up to me after and thank us for escorting them home. They said they’ve never expected a homecoming like that,” Vice President of the American Legion Riders of Zelienople Mike Schoeffel said.
Members of the community held up signs and waved flags as Hogan was escorted down Main Street.
The Zelienople native served four tours: two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and most recently, one in Qatar. He was away from his family for 11 months.
“Words can’t describe how difficult it is, but I’m glad to have him home,” Hogan’s wife Candace said.
“I plan on staying as long as I can. Hopefully no more deployments. I know she doesn’t want me to go,” Jesse Hogan said.
Hogan’s four-year-old Tristan is looking forward to building a tree house now that his dad is home.
As for his wife?
“Be in our house. We just built a house and he only lived in if for two weeks before deploying,” Candace Hogan said.
Jesse Hogan is ready for all of that too, but for now, he is soaking it all in.
“This is crazy. I have never had a welcome home like this. This is unbelievable,” Jesse Hogan said.