By Chris Concannon
Gloucester City News
A U.S. Marine from Brooklawn was surprised with a Coming Home party Friday, February 17, at VFW Post 9563 in Bellmawr.
Lance Corporal John McConnell, 19, was met at the Post Hall on Essex Avenue by many family and friends, along with his proud parents Trish and John McConnell.
Based at Camp Lejeune, NC, as a Rifleman with the 22nd Warlords, McConnell had just returned from an 11-month tour in Libya, and was assigned to the USS Whidbey Island.
His unit was part of the U.S, military’s Operation Unified Protector, whose duties included being part of a quick reaction force before and during the demise of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
A 2010 graduate of Gloucester City High School, McConnell will return to Lejeune when his leave is up on March 4.
The quiet and laid-back Marine did say that he had joined the Corps, as he felt it was the best branch of the Armed Services, but currently has no plans to re-enlist when his four-year assignment is completed.
With family and friends looking on, including his Grandfather, Josh Bratton, himself retired Air Force, McConnell was presented with a one-year membership at VFW 9563 by Post Commander Joe Lee, who thanked the young man for his service.
The Post also donated the services of the hall that evening, as a further gesture of their gratitude for his service to the United States.