U.S. Army Lt. Sebastiano Nane is only home for few short days, but residents in his hometown of East Hampton wanted to make the hero’s visit special.
They brought out pipes and drums as well as bikes and flags to say welcome home and thank you to Nane, who just completed an eight-month tour in Afghanistan.
The homecoming was patriotic, enthusiastic and symbolic as Nane removed a yellow ribbon from a tree that stands in the center of town. It has clung to the tree since Nane’s family tied it there when Nane was deployed last August, at a much smaller ceremony.
East Hampton has thrown yellow ribbon farewell and welcome home parties for all of its servicemen and women in recent years, 18 vets so far.
Still, Nane said he didn’t expect this grandiose of celebration.
“It’s awesome to come back to the U.S. and the country we fight for, and it’s great to see everybody come out here and still support me after so long,” said Nane.
Connecticut’s Patriot Guard Riders were among Nane’s cheerleaders. The motorcyclists come to all of East Hampton’s yellow ribbon event to show support. Rider John Casey said this was unheard of a few decades ago.
“We’re trying to make up for the mistakes of Vietnam. So now you want to see them when they go. You want to see them when they come back, tell them how glad you are to see them home safe and sound. We want people to remember that veterans paid for everything you have,” said Casey.
Nane said he appreciates the support and all the pomp and circumstance, but that it was unnecessary.
“The veterans, like everybody, came for me, and it’s really very touching,” said Nane.
He’s just happy to be home for a little while, before leaving for Germany in a few hours.
“It’s things that we fight for, things that we take for granted sometimes, and it’s really great to be back here,” Nane said.
Just two yellow ribbons remain on East Hampton’s tree, meaning only two East Hampton natives are still not home from duty.
Nane told the crowd that those two soldiers are in his unit and that they are safe in Germany. They’re expected to come home to Connecticut in the next few months.