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13 Marines get impromptu Chicago airport welcome

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DON BABWIN | November 6, 2013 02:31 AM EST | AP


CHICAGO (AP) — Thirteen Marines heading home from Afghanistan got something they didn't expect more than four days into their journey including a cheering crowd of police officers, a fire truck water salute and first-class tickets.

Capt. Pravin (pruh'VEEN) Rajan says the reception they received Monday as they passed through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on their way to San Diego was "incredibly touching."

American Airlines gave six of them first-class seats to San Diego. But that gesture was followed by seven first-class passengers who jumped out of their seats for the other Marines.

The USO and others say the reception is the kind of thing they like to do whenever military personnel fly through the airport, but this event was organized at the last minute.