It was a military move that uplifted the spirits of the team at Aries Charter Transportation.
The Chicagoland motorcoach operator was tasked with transporting about 150 Army Reserve soldiers on the final leg of their journey following a yearlong deployment to the Middle East.
Three Aries coaches picked up the troops at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday and drove them to Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where family and friends were waiting.
The unit was headquartered in Kuwait, conducting missions in four Middle Eastern countries to support Operation Spartan Shield, according to the news station that covered the heartwarming homecoming. The troops created multiple sites for air defense artillery and construction at bases and military camps.
“Our drivers were really excited to be a part of this,” said Aries Marketing and Sales Manager Sam Trevino, whose dad, Ralph, started the business 30 years ago. “They had huge smiles on their faces. It was nice to see some smiling faces after what we’ve been going through the past couple of months in the industry.”
The motorcoaches had a police escort, and crowds gathered along the route to cheer on the returning troops.
The buses that rolled that day wore signs highlighting the important role the industry plays in safely transporting the military and civilians alike. A bus with the eye-catching message “Motorcoaches Moves America’s Military” was part of the backdrop for the WGN-TV reporter’s interviews with soldiers and their families.
“It was the perfect placement,” said Trevino, noting that the signs were bought for the Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness rally in May and the state capital rally in Springfield in June.
“We figured it would be a perfect opportunity for that and to really get that message across to other people, as well.”
Ralph Trevino started the business in 1990 with one bus, and has grown the fleet to more than 100 vehicles and a reputation for quality service throughout Chicagoland. Now, his sons Sam, 25, and Nick, 27, have come on board to make sure the company is around for another 30 years.