But not on Sunday.
“We were the ones surprised this time,” OWYH Founder Donna Morsovillo said with a laugh.
U.S. Army Pvt. Sean Belousek, a graduate, got wind of plans for a hero’s welcome as he returned to Joliet for a 28-day leave.
“I found out about it on Facebook,” he said.
So Belousek, 25, showed up as OWYH and Warriors Watch Riders were preparing to organize a flag line in the parking lot of the at Route 59 and Caton Farm Road. Representatives of the Joliet police and fire departments, and Plainfield Emergency Management Agency were also there for the event.
Instead of receiving an escort to his Joliet home, Belousek hitched a ride with one of the Warriors Watch bikers during the Aug. 12 welcome mission.
Welcoming Belousek home were his 4-year-old daughter, Cadence, and parents Ed and Marlene Belousek.
The 25-year-old was born in Palos Heights and graduated from Plainfield South in 2005.
He enlisted in the Army in 2010, completing specialist training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before deploying to Kuwait, where his assignment was driving supplies to U.S. bases in Iraq.
In December 2011, as most of the U.S. bases in Iraq closed, Belousek was reassigned to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where he spent the remainder of his deployment.
Belousek said he will be home until Aug. 31 before returning to duty.
Mom Marlene said Belousek was embarrassed by all the fuss surrounding his homecoming.
“He doesn’t feel like he did anything,” she said.
“It’s overwhelming,” Belousek said of the welcome.