Wounded Warrior Returns to a Hero's Homecoming


By Ellis Eskew

A wounded warrior gets a hero's welcome home at the Montgomery airport.

Corporal Nikki Fleming was deployed in Afghanistan when her vehicle she was driving his an IED. It exploded and Fleming received head and spine injuries.

She spent the last several weeks in a Maryland hospital. Thursday she was finally able to come home.

Veterans, Patriot Guard riders, family and friends stood with flags, flowers, and signs ready to welcome home their hero back from war.
Corporal Nikki Fleming finally appeared with her husband who had also been serving with her in Afghanistan.
The first hug went to their 3 year old daughter.

And then together the family was greeted by much more as the the crowd cheered and clapped.

"It's very, very encouraging that people haven't forgot about the military and there's still a war going on. People don't really realize that," said Corporal Fleming.

The Patriot Guard riders, who normally escort fallen military servicemen and women, came out in full force to honor this young marine.

 "It's a joyous occasion because most of what we do are funerals. So when we get the opportunity to support a veteran returning home alive, that's a really food thing for us," said Tommy Beeson, Patriot Guard Captain.

The Patriot Guard riders escorted the Flemings from the airport to Boones Chapel for a welcome home party.

"Gave me pride in my heart that Americans are still proud of their service people and that was what was important to us was for her to feel respect and honor that she deserves," Denise Knudsen, Fleming's mother.

But fleming wants people to know that she is not the only hero.

"The real warriors are still in Afghanistan. The real warriors pulled me out of the truck and got me back here and took care of me and my husband and got us all the way back," said Corporal Fleming.


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