Lance Cpl. Daniel Vieira of Ronkonkoma, a U.S. Marine deployed in the Middle East for the last nine months, will be landing tonight at Long Island MacArthur Airport at 10 p.m. for a three-day leave to spend at home.
Vieira, whose mother Debbie was able to book the last seat on U.S. Airways flight 3630 when she found out he’d be given the time to come home, served both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Vieira’s brothers, Anthony and Jason Vieira, also served in the Marines. And his late father, Thomas Vieira, who died five years ago from Melanoma, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
Debbie Vieira said her husband always wanted to be a Marine instead – a desire she said he passed on to his sons. Today would have been their 39th wedding anniversary.
In addition to his mother and brothers, Vieira will be greeted by his two sisters, Cheryl D’Alessandro and Jessica Vieira, three nieces, and Islip Town Deputy Supervisor Gene Parrington, a decorated former Marine who will deliver a citation to Vieira to honor his service.
Vieira and his family will be given a motorcycle escort by the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization dedicated to supporting soldiers, for the ride home.