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Jupiter High School graduate returns from one-year deployment to South Korea

Posted at 1:31 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 19:39:22-04

JUPITER, Fla. — Army Specialist Nick Trilla returned home to South Florida on Wednesday after serving one year stationed at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

Camp Humphreys is home to the U.S. Army’s most active airfield in the Pacific, and home to several tactical and direct support units, according to the installation’s website.

Trilla, a 2017 Jupiter High School graduate, serves as an Army satellite communications systems operator and maintainer, responsible for troubleshooting satellite systems both stateside and overseas.

"Serving is an amazing opportunity really and I’m grateful to be in the service everyday," said Trilla.

Trilla completed the Army’s Basic Combat Training just weeks after graduating high school. Trilla, who served as a JROTC cadet in high school, said he knew he didn’t want to immediately go to college and decided to enlist in the military.

"I wanted to make myself a better person and serve in the military," Trilla said.

His mother, Audi Barbosa, and stepfather, Bill, said they were initially unsupportive of their son’s decision, but changed their minds following his transformation as a person over the last year.

"I was scared. I have great respect for all branches of the military, but I didn’t want my son to go through the sacrifices that they have to go through," said Audi.

Bill said Nick’s decision has changed not only the man wearing the uniform, but the family’s values.

"He has leadership, integrity, he believes in something now," said Bill. "Most people take our freedom for granted. Memorial Day was just a few days ago, and it was just an opportunity to party on the boat. They forget that our kids, their parents at one time were in the military and fought for what we are able to do right now."

Trilla arrived at Palm Beach International Airport on Wednesday afternoon to a hero’s welcome. Additionally, Bill and Audi have a large welcome sign bearing their son's picture in an Army Combat Uniform, surrounded by American flags, in front of their apartment complex to give their son a community welcome home. They said it also serves as a message for teens graduating from high school.

"I think it can offer them a career," said Audi.

Spc. Trilla will report for duty at Fort Polk, Louisiana in two weeks. Nick’s father calls his son’s return welcoming, but an understandably brief visit.