Wounded NC veteran gets hero’s return for Christmas
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A wounded Army veteran was welcomed back to his North Carolina home for Christmas by a crowd including a high school marching band, local cheer team, and neighbors holding banners.
The celebratory return for 82nd Airborne veteran Mike Verardo took place Friday evening as he returned to his Waxhaw home from his latest visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The 33-year-old with three young daughters faces his 120th surgery in May.
His wife tells the Charlotte Observer this was his first real homecoming celebration since being wounded in southern Afghanistan in 2010. He has a prosthetic leg after an armored vehicle he was in hit an improvised explosive device.
Verardo told the newspaper the gathering before Christmas made him feel “just happy on so many levels.”
Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com