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Hero's welcome for wounded Marine

9:41 PM, Jul 1, 2010   |    comments
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By: Mike Bush

St. Louis -- The sound of jet engines were muffled Thursday at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

Hundreds of people showed up for a celebration

"Everybody's here, it's just wonderful, " exclaimed Julie Stanbrough.

They were there with signs and American flags as if a hero was coming home. And in fact, that's exactly what was happening.

Delta Flight 6423 arrived at 10 am with Marine Corporal Todd Nicely aboard.

"Welcome home honey!, " said Stanbrough, Nicely's mom.

Greeted by his mom and stepdad on the jetway, Corporal Nicely was home for the first time October and for the first time since he lost both his arms and legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Allowed through security, family and friends cheered and teared. It was hard to tell who was more overwhelmed, Cpl. Nicely or his relatives.

"Having him home is great, " said Mike Stanbrough, Nicely's stepfather. "One of the best feelings I've ever had."

"He looks pretty darn good for all he's been through, " said his great grandfather John Bennett.

Cpl. Nicely is just the second American to survive the war after a quad-amputation but showing that this Marine has plenty of fight left, he put on his prosthetic legs and walked from the gate to the terminal.

"I'll tell you what. I have never been so proud of a person in all my life, " said his grandfather Russell Bono.

"I wake up every morning and I figure I got another chance at life so might as well get up and go, " explained Cpl. Nicely.

Cpl. Nicely then got an escort home. The Patriot guard led the way on motorcycles.

He will have to go back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to continue therapy but for the next few weeks there will be a lot of hugs and handshakes and the house he grew up in will be home of the brave.

"Great having him home, " said Bono. "Just great having him home.

KSDK

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