A local Marine got a big welcome home on Sunday, albeit a wet one at the Jersey County Fairgrounds. Not long before Lance Corporal Dustin Rister was scheduled to be the guest of honor at his welcome home celebration, the skies opened up and drenched family, friends, and a military band and forced the ceremony to be moved under a pavilion. But the weather didn't deter the excitement of Rister's final homecoming.
Rister has finally ended his service with the Marine's and will begin his education as part of the next chapter of his life. He received a heroes welcome with a police escorted motorcade into town, greetings from local and state politicians, along with dozens of family and friends. The U.S. Air Force Shades of Blue band performed, although it was a bit abbreviated thanks to the rain. The event was organized by Rodney and Gretchen Cook as part of their local group Mission: American Gratitude, which celebrates the safe return of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.