Sumner community welcomes home their local hero - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sumner community welcomes home their local hero

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SUMNER (KWWL) -

Family, friends, and members of the Patriot Guard gathered at the Waterloo Regional Airport, ready to begin a welcome home celebration that Specialist Zach Schick won't forget.

Schick has been at Walter Reed Army Medical Center since May. He was injured in an IED attack while serving in Afghanistan.

"His extended family and his friends haven't seen him yet," said mother Julie Schick.

Schick knew he'd have a few people waiting for him at the terminal. But what he saw when he got off the plane was overwhelming.

"I wasn't expecting it at all, so it's kind of surprising, felt pretty good once I seen all my family and friends around," he said.

What Schick didn't realize, is the airport was just the beginning of his welcome home ceremony. In Sumner, dozens of people were preparing for surprise number two.

"The community is really excited, they've really gotten together and really supported the Schicks while he's been at Walter reed and on his journey home. So this will be a great event to have him home finally," said family friend Tracy Carmen.

At home, Curt Schick spent an hour hanging a massive American flag to greet his son. Then, at 5:15, the Sumner firefighters and police arrived at the Schick home, ready to escort Schick and his family downtown for the big homecoming celebration at the American Legion. Community members lined the streets -- holding American flags -- and letting Schick know just how proud they are of their soldier.

Schick was amazed, saying it looked like "the entire town was out here!"

It was a homecoming truly fit for an American hero.

Schick did say he was looking forward to some rest. Of course, that's after he enjoyed a night celebrating his homecoming.

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