It was a homecoming fit for a hero. Dozens of people lined a usually quiet suburban street in Liberty Twp. to honor a local marine.
Sgt. Branson Daniel Dunlop returned home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He first flew into Columbus on Thursday afternoon. His parents, Daniel & Brenda Dunlop, met him there as he got off the bus. They then brought him back to the Tri-State in style: Sgt. Branson and his family rode home in a limousine.
As soon as they turned the corner onto the Dunlop's street, they were greeted by dozens of cheering and clapping friends and relatives. Neighbors' mailboxes were adorned with yellow ribbons, and even members of the Liberty Township fire department showed their support by flying a large American flag off one of their ladder trucks.
Dunlop was deployed to Afghanistan nine months ago. He worked in intelligence and oversaw the Armory at Camp Leatherneck in the South Helmand Provence of Afghanistan
Everyone was thankful the 25-year-old returned home safely, but they were also grateful that all of the 179 other marines of Sgt. Branson's Lima Company Third Battalion returned home safely. It was a very different homecoming from years past. In 2005, 23 marines from that very same unit were killed while serving in Iraq.
Sgt. Dunlop is the oldest son of Daniel & Brenda and brother to Riley Dunlop, an Ohio University football player. Sgt. Dunlop grew up in Liberty Twp. He graduated from Lakota East High School in 2003. Sgt. Dunlop has completed seven years in the Marine Corp. He is looking forward to returning to law school and getting his law degree. On top of all of that, Dunlop is getting married this summer to Tasha Sandler.
Sgt. Dunlop said he had no idea that his friends and family had organized the homecoming. He told FOX19 he's just grateful and thankful to start this next chapter in his life.