For Master Sergeant Christopher Winling, coming back to his Lake Villa home Friday will prove a little sweeter this time around.
The Illinois National Guard member who returns from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan will see his wife, his 3-year-old twins and a completely remodeled house.
Winling, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, is the winner of the "Warm Welcome Home" contest that presented one Illinois soldier with $50,000 in home remodels. He has spent 14 years in the military and was injured in Iraq when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle.
His wife, Jill, entered the contest sponsored by Operation Homefront Illinois, WLS-AM 890 and Galaxie Home Remodeling earlier this year, and work on the house at 860 E. Millstone Drive continued over the summer.
Video of the remodeling process shows the overhaul of Winling's basement which now includes a new playroom, workout room and laundry room.
Winling is slated to go back to Afghanistan in 2013 for his fourth tour of duty.