A grateful city invites generations of veterans to come back home

HARVEY, Ill. -- In south suburban Harvey, generations of past residents who served in the armed forces all over the world came together for a special high school reunion hosted by their grateful neighbors this weekend.

“We are welcoming them home. We want to welcome them home and thank them for their service and honoring Harvey with their service,” Tom Dreesen said.

While Dreesen has risen to great heights in Hollywood as an actor, he never forgot his Harvey roots and his time in the U.S. Navy. Dreesen joined other veterans from every branch of the armed services for the homecoming celebration at Thornton Township High School.

“I feel like I'm back at home again; this is a great day,” said Bob Babcock, Thornton Township High School Class of 1950 and a U.S. Army Veteran. Babcock said he served in Germany in the 1950s. He came from Florida to take part in the service.

“I look at some of these people who have been through hell and they well deserve it. As I talk to them you can almost see the tears come back soon I start with myself, I tear right with them,” Babcock said.

“We do come from a military family and they need it. They need it so much,” said Harvey resident Vernesa Holmes.

“If it wasn't for the military there wouldn't be a United States and Harvey helped that all along the way,” Dreesen said.