Last week, an Arizona soldier returned from war. Although it was 9.30 pm, Austin Hoopes’ arrival at his Maricopa home was not a quiet one. That’s because his Tortosa neighbors waited up to greet him. You see, they had been working in partnership with CCMC to plan a very special homecoming for Austin, who had just completed a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. And they did not want to miss this opportunity to personally thank their hometown hero.
This amazing story of community began when Austin’s wife Julianne contacted CCMC community manager Chris Hashisaki. In preparation for Austin’s return, Julianne wanted permission to line the streets with American flags. Would the association approve? Would her neighbors agree to have flags flying in their yards? Chris decided to find out and neighbors were notified.
What happened next was simply amazing. Not only did they agree, they actually wanted to help! And so the community went to work executing Julianne’s plan. Maricopa Boy Scouts lined the streets with Old Glory. One neighbor tied yellow ribbons around the trees. The CCMC management team decorated each street corner with balloons and printed a “welcome home” banner for Austin’s garage door. Spotlights lit the way, as local media arrived. When everything was in place, Julianne headed for the airport. It was 5.30 pm. Four hours later, their hero was home.
I am so pleased that CCMC did not miss this opportunity to create a lasting family memory, to express our gratitude for an American soldier, to celebrate freedom in our neighborhoods… and to bring one community a bit closer together. You see, these are the opportunities CCMC seeks each and every day, as we work to make your neighborhood truly feel like home.