Soldier returns to a remodeled home
October 28, 2011 (ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill.) (WLS) -- Master Sgt. Chris Winling got a rousing welcome home Friday afternoon after returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The 16-year military veteran got a surprise escort to his home in Round Lake Beach and another surprise when he got home.
After seeing dozens of supporters, Winling stood in front of his home joking about the grand welcome his family set up.
"We're going to talk about this later... it was really nice," he said.
The Warrior Watch Riders gave the soldier a string of beads, an honorary token of appreciation, and had him sign a banner.
After that, it was time for the next surprise.
Winling walked in his home to find every room newly decorated, a massive $50,000 renovation his wife, Jill, won from a letter-writing contest sponsored by WLS radio.
"I just wrote about his career," she said. "My dad said, 'You must be a good writer.' I said, 'No, I had something to write about.'"
Winling is a soldier who has served 14 years, was wounded in Iraq, and just finished a tour in Afghanistan.
The man who made this happen financially tried to explain why he got involved in the remodeling project.
"It's nothing, I wish I could do more," said Bruce Pinsler of Galaxie Home Remodeling.
Winling said it is a gift that is much appreciated.
"It's greatly appreciated," Winling said. " We would have never done this."
Winling is on a 30-day leave.
local, stacey baca
- Chicago honors military in Memorial Day Parade
- Memorial Day Road Race benefits military families
- 17-year-old boy killed in Austin shooting
- ABC7 Weather Forecast
- 'Electric Daisy Carnival' keeping area residents up all night
- Man charged for arson, burglary of $1.5 million boat 43 min ago
- FEMA teams look for flood damage on South Side
- Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition criticize school closings 54 min ago
- Joliet man facing child porn charges
- Missouri freight train crash injures at least 7, collapses...
- Robbie Rogers heading to Galaxy as league's 1st openly gay...
- Second video allegedly shows guard push student
- New York police investigating Amanda Bynes' assault allegations
- abcnews: Drivers Can't Face Fears, Get Lift Across...
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed VideoMost Viewed Photos