Hero's welcome for injured Marine in Orange City, IA
ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
For Marine Lance Corporal Alex Nguyen, his homecoming was something he'd never expected to happen... at least not like this.
After serving in Afghanistan for seven months, an IED explosion shattered his ankles and his foot.
He spent the next two months in a clinic in Virginia.
Thursday night, Nguyen was finally able to return home to Orange City, Iowa. He was greeted by firefighters, servicemen, family and friends.
"It's not every day you see people going out and doing what he does. And for him to actually love what he does is just amazing because I couldn't muster up any of the courage for that stuff," said Consuelo Valdez, his mother.
Nguyen's mother says she's just excited to see her son come home.
At first, Nguyen thought that he was just going to church.
Then, he saw the crowds.
"I mean, you just watch TV sometimes and you see all these protests going on and how people hate the military for some odd reason. But I mean, it's great to know that there are supporters out there."
You can count Anita Cirulis among those proud to see Nguyen come home.
She helped organize the event, which Alex never really saw coming.
"Let him see, not just hear from us that we appreciate it and are glad that he's home. To see that support in person is wonderful."
Normally, Nguyen isn't a big fan of surprises, but this is one he didn't mind having.