Retirement is always cause for celebration and a great reason for a party. Pair that retirement with a long-awaited homecoming from Afghanistan though, and there’s even more reason to celebrate. On Saturday, Culver’s of Valparaiso hosted a welcome home and retirement party for Master Sargent George Rebus of the Michigan Air National Guard, whom returned home on July 29th.
The party was hosted outside on the patio, which was sectioned off for the private event. Extra tables were set up to accommodate the number of friends and family who came to welcome Rebus home, with patriotic decorations spaced throughout. Culver’s was proud to participate in such a momentous event for the family.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to thank Master Sargent Rebus,” said Mary Foster, Assistant Manager for Culver’s of Valparaiso. “He’s retiring and he just came home from Afghanistan. He’s one of our community heroes, so we wanted to give back to him. He did so much for our country and also the community.”
Friends and family arrived with hugs and smiles plenty and Rebus graciously accepted them all. Some questioned why Culver’s was the choice made for a party, but the answer was simple.
“In Qatar, they have every fast food national brand. Even on base we had a Dairy Queen or Subway, but no Culver’s,” said Rebus. “And Culver’s does great things in the community!”
While he enjoyed a well-deserved Culver’s meal, Rebus was happy to be back with his family and friends after months of deployment.
“There are things here that you take for granted every day in the Midwest, like a simple thunderstorm, green grass, or trees that are green. In the Middle East, you don’t have that,” said Rebus.
Of those most excited to have Rebus back home, of course, were his daughters.
Now that he’s back, we’ve seen him every single day. Clearly you can tell that we’ve missed him,” said Erin Bobos, his eldest daughter. “Every day when we talked, my dad just said how he could really go for some Culver’s! When my mom and I began talking about doing a party I messaged Wendy [Gates] and asked her if this was something she’d be interested in doing for us, and she right away said absolutely.”
Bobos worked for Culver’s years ago and her younger sister works there now, making the family very aware of Culver’s community outreach. Culver’s consistently goes above and beyond to help others, starting with their charity of the month. Beyond that, they’re proud to take part in other events to help those who have served.
"We really like to give thanks where thanks are needed and that starts with veterans and those in active service,” said Foster. “We have a month dedicated to veterans and we try to touch the community in that way every chance that we can get.”
Culver’s of Valparaiso is certainly a place full of helpful, dedicated people. It was a memorable and heartfelt occasion for a man who has sacrificed so much and a family who has supported him from the start, all brought to life by the people of Culver’s.
For more information about Culver’s, go to www.culvers.com.