A wounded warrior is now back home in East Tennessee after nearly two years in Afghanistan.
In June 2011, Marine Sergeant Christopher Hancock lost both his legs in an IED explosion while on duty in Afghanistan. The Crossville man has spent the past two years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Monday night, Hancock's community welcomed him back with a big homecoming celebration.
"I thought maybe we could get 100 people out here and we could cheer when the plane came in," said the Marine's mother-in-law, Kimberly Russo."It's more than I could have dreamed of, and Christopher will be shocked!"
Hundreds of people came to the Crossville Airport to welcome Hancock, his wife Danielle, and young son Matthew back to East Tennessee. The crowd included veterans groups, Honor Guards, local emergency personnel, a community band, and other members of the community.
"He's going to see how much people really care about him, the sacrifice he's made and everything he's done for this country," said Larry Henson, who helped organize the event. "And I hope other veterans realize the same thing when they see this. They're not forgotten, and we appreciate the sacrifice they've made."
Hancock arrived around 5:30 p.m., and was overwhelmed by the crowd.
"When we finally got here in town and saw the crowd, my heart started beating a mile a minute, ready to get out here and start shaking hands," he said.
"I'm grateful that everyone came out to show their support. Not just for me, but for other veterans and military members that are out there," he added. "I'm sure they greatly appreciate it, too."
Hancock will be home for about two weeks, and during that time the family will wait to learn more about his future in the service.