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NorCal Marine comes home to big surprise

NorCal Marine Comes Home to Big Surprise

After more than two decades in the service -- most recently in Okinawa -- an area Marine was ready to retire to Northern California.

He bought a house earlier this year, and it needed a lot of repairs. KCRA reports:

A limo ride home was the first clue that something was up for newly retired Marine Master Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo. It was clear that he was not ready for what he saw -- a home he bought in January, completely renovated inside and out.

"It's beautiful...I'm speechless," he said.

Bernardo, an Iraqi war vet, was overwhelmed with gratitude and humility:

"Those guys that didn't make it back ... and those guys that didn't make it in one piece. They deserve this ... not me.

It took several crews to pull this off in just ten days. The renovation included flooring, carpet, paint on the inside and out and new turf for the backyard.

Jeremy Epperson served with Bernardo, and he got donations in money and labor to make this happen. This fellow marine's mission was pretty clear cut:

"[To] give a retiring marine some place that he felt comfortable and proud to lay his head at night," Epperson said.

Bernardo's wife's reaction? "This is awesome! It's nice," she said.

The mayor of Suisun City even stopped by. "Welcome to my city," he said. He even declared Tuesday, June 17, 2014 as 'Jack Bernardo Day' -- the day a community came together to say 'thank you' and 'welcome home.'

"21 years I gave serving our country. If I had 21 more years to give, I would ... because I love this country," Bernardo said, holding back tears.

Bernardo had saved up some money to fix up the house, which he no longer has to do. It'll come in handy next year, though, when he'll have not just one, but two, daughters attending Sacramento State.

Join the discussion

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jyates1936 June 18 2014 at 12:13 PM

A real man is not afraid to cry. This is my kinda guy. Thank you and God bless you and your family. And also to the people who did the job on the house.

Flag Reply +45 rate up
1 reply
ChingOW Mango jyates1936 June 19 2014 at 3:33 AM

Good point indeed! I forgot to say thanks and God bless to the wonderful workers who did all this for the Bernado family. You guys are the best!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Big Slick June 18 2014 at 11:46 AM

As a Korean and Vietnam Retiree, I'm Glad that the people now realize, being a veteran requires having been there and returning to a Land where you're not called a Baby Killer, or being called stupid for being glad you're an American.
Anyone who thinks differently is in my opinion, not fit to be an American.
If you want my name , just return this comment

Flag Reply +43 rate up
10 replies
siketrise June 18 2014 at 11:58 AM

I think every Vet that serves this country with honor. They should receive a paid off home, a placement of employment, plus health & mental benefits. We can never thank military men and women, and their families enough for what they have done for this country. And, those of us living freely in the United States.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
4 replies
Big Slick June 18 2014 at 11:52 AM

In reply to that last comment:
I'm no hero but I served with the First Marine Division in Korea. And did three tours in Vietnam.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
1 reply
ChingOW Mango Big Slick June 19 2014 at 3:41 AM

You are a hero and to be thanked for your service. To you and all veterans I say - THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
drsreflect June 18 2014 at 1:10 PM

Semper Fi and God Bless both of them and all the other Vets who served

Flag Reply +20 rate up
1 reply
lalalexm drsreflect June 18 2014 at 2:15 PM


Flag Reply +10 rate up
alspoolhall June 18 2014 at 1:34 PM

Wow. Good job volunteers. Wish all vets could get help if needed.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
wnstnrace1 June 18 2014 at 1:34 PM

That's awesome! But just wait, I bet you that the Liberal Clowns on the Home Owners Association fine him for having a flag out. That how the dumbasses in California roll!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
5 replies
lov2elkhnt June 18 2014 at 3:05 PM

G-d and every good American should hold a special place in they're heart for a most precious gift to America for over 200 years.....The standard issue USMC "Jarhead" and due to them the USA would not exsist. Bless you beautiful leatherneck, devildog, lifetaking, heartbreaking, too often disrespected, OUTSTANDING bastards America should never ever be without. Oorah and Semper Fi for Marine Master Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo forever.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
lov2elkhnt lov2elkhnt June 18 2014 at 8:36 PM

BTW, even though I'm a squid, these heart felt words did not come hard to my lips. Marines are America's best blessing of protection.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
frtcruiser June 18 2014 at 12:20 PM

OH WAHHHHHHHHHHHH simper fi brother

Flag Reply +6 rate up
loamylam June 18 2014 at 1:31 PM

He's right. He does not deserve this. Many people work on a job for 20 years and even longer. The tax payer paid his salary all these years, he chose this line of work and is no more deserving than any other worker of a home regardless his occupation, These were his decisioins.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
22 replies
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