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Residents gather to greet returning Marine major


Many Aledo residents turned out on Thursday, May 26, when Marine Major Rob Boudreau returned from eight months’ deployment in Okinawa.

The welcome began as a simple request. Most Aledoans are familiar with Rob Bratcher, also known as “Aledo Joe,” who can often be seen walking up and down FM 1187 waving at passers-by.

Many times he is carrying an American flag.

In preparation for Boudreaux’s return, his wife, Sarah, asked Bratcher if he would greet the returning major with his American flag at Aledo Diner.

“We can do better and that, we’re Aledo,” Bratcher told Sarah. “I’ll put all this in motion and we will give him a bigger greeting than that.”

Bratcher put the word out on social media, so by Thursday several people had gathered at the Aledo Diner parking lot to welcome the returning Marine.

In addition, the Aledo Rotary Club brought the American flags they use on holidays around the Aledo Commons.

“These guys don’t get the credit they need,” Bratcher said before Boudreaux’s arrival. “We need to honor them in every way we can.”

About 3:30 p.m. Boudreau and his family drove up to cheers and a hearty welcome.

“This was so unexpected,” Boudreau said. “I really appreciate everyone who wanted to come out and show support for the military.”

In addition to Boudreau and his wife, Sarah, the family consists of Joseph, 9; Henry, 7; Robert, 5; and Mark, 1.

About 50 people welcomed the Marine home.


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