Lance Cpl. Sergio Rico Mendez returned to a festive crowd of family and friends after a sevenmonth deployment in Afghanistan. The two-year Marine was greeted by his sister Irene Blanco, her husband Juan, and their children at the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport on Saturday morning.
“It was wonderful. It was very overwhelming. I’m excited,” said Mendez.
Family and friends gathered in the Blanco home for a barbecue to celebrate Mendez’s return later that evening.
“We’re really proud of him. He’s one of the shortest of my nephews, but the bravest,” said Mendez’s aunt, Frances Mendez. “He’s so awesome. I can’t believe he did this. To go out there, become a Marine and fight for our country.” ...