FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Injured Marine, Brandon Long makes his return home today and the city in planning a grand welcome home for him.
Brandon, a Fort Wayne native, stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and is now a double leg amputee. After spending months recovering from his injuries at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Brandon is returning to Fort Wayne with his wife and young daughter and plans to live here. He will spend the next year traveling to Walter Reed to continue rehab.
Brandon's father Floid Long said the community's support is amazing.
"This is something that we've been planning for a little while, and he has no idea what's going on and I think he's going to be really shocked at this many people really care and want to be here for him. So this is going to be an amazing thing for him."
Brandon said his welcome home was more than he could ask for.
"Everything out here today is pretty awesome. It's a nice welcome home. It feels pretty good... Just thank you. That's pretty much all I got. Thank you. It means a lot me. It means a lot the guys back in Pendleton and those who couldn't make to with us today. It means a lot to me."
If you would like to participate in welcoming Brandon home, here is the schedule of events:
11:30 a.m. American Legion Post 409 will assemble at the airport terminal to greet Brandon and prepare him for his welcome
12:00 p.m. Flags will be set up along Ferguson Rd. for Brandon's departure from the Airport. (Citizens and well-wishers can line up too)
12:35 p.m. Brandon's plane will arrive
-- Brandon will leave the terminal at the Baggage Claim area where well-wishers and citizens will gather.
-- Bernie Beier from Homeland Security will read a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Henry and the City of Fort Wayne.
-- The estimate is that between 50 and 500 motorcycles will participate in the procession which will drive down Ferguson Rd. to Route 27 nNrth and drive into the city via Lafayette Street. There will be city and county police escorts and traffic control.
-- Once in the city, they will drive by the Number 1 Fire Station where a Battalion Flag will be displayed by a single ladder truck.
-- They will continue north to Dupont Rd. where they will turn to head towards Leo, IN where American Legion Post 409 has many events scheduled for Brandon into the night.
-- For those who wish to line Dupont Rd. and stand by the Flag route, they should arrive no later than 2:30 p.m.
-- The Leo Fire Department will lead the procession into Leo and up to the American Legion Post.
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