Huge crowd and applause welcome wounded soldier in Calhoun Co - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Huge crowd and applause welcome wounded soldier in Calhoun Co

Wounded soldier Aaron Casey disembarks at the Anniston Municipal Airport. Wounded soldier Aaron Casey disembarks at the Anniston Municipal Airport.
ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) -

Aaron Causey walked off the plane, inspired by the crowd that came to see him.

That's impressive because the Army SFC lost both legs from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan Sept. 7, and now uses artificial legs.

"Originally, I was just going to get off the plane and hop in my wheelchair," Causey said. "I figured if everyone else is going to show up for me, you know, I'll put on my legs and walk for them."

Friends, family, even people who just wanted to see a hero, turned out at the Anniston Municipal Airport to welcome Causey home. Causey, who had been undergoing intensive physical therapy at Walter Reed Medical Center in Betheseda, Maryland, was allowed to come home for Christmas.

Some 2,000 or so came to show their support, with banners and homemade signs, fighting moody weather. The sun was out part of the morning but it rained heavily, letting up just before his plane landed, almost an hour late.

Causey choked up as he told reporters of his personal goal, "As soon as I was fully conscious and everything I said I wasn't coming home until I could walk through my mom's store.  And I said I'd do it by Christmas.  And I'm going to do it."

With stops for hugs, and amid massive applause and shouts of "Welcome home!" Causey walked from the airplane to the hanger.

His father, Jack Causey, said his son served two tours in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan just after last Christmas. He had previously been in the Air Force before joining the Army as a team leader for an explosives unit. He says Aaron went out the field to replace an injured member of the team.

"He likes the field, and he went out to the field to be in the field with them, and that's when this injury happened," Jack Causey said.

A group called Veterans' Airlift Command flew the Oxford native and Alexandria High School graduate back to Calhoun County. Patriot Guard Riders arrived to provide an escort when Causey and his family were ready to leave the airport.

Causey had no idea such a huge crowd would be on hand for him, until he saw the crowd and the big flag from the Oxford Fire Truck from the window of the plane.

"I'm speechless, I'm speechless, it's just absolutely amazing," he added.

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