The guests of honor are US Marine David Nilson and his service dog, Sonny. Nilson served in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan as a dog handler and was assigned to located improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with Sonny. The pair has recently retired and is now reunited back in Wilmington.
The Welcome Home celebration will begin with a motorcycle escort that starts at the North Campus at 1:00 p.m. A ceremony will be held from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Tabithaâ€™s Courtyard on the Wilmington Campus to honor Nilson, Sonny, and all of the returning veterans.
Books will be collected throughout the week at the Veterans Center in Union Station room 124 and in the courtyard on the day of the Welcome Home event.
The book drive and Welcome Home event is hosted by the Wilmington NC-3 chapter of the Rolling Thunder Organization and the Alpha Chi Sigma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society. The drive and ceremony are both open to the public and encourage community support.