Wounded soldier honored at Brookwood High game - New York News

Wounded soldier honored at Brookwood High game

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

A hero's homecoming was held in Gwinnett County on Friday for a soldier wounded in action.

Army Sgt. Justin Lansford , a 2007 graduate of Brookwood High School, lost his leg as a result of an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. He also suffered a punctured lung and broke some ribs. Shortly before he was hurt, two other soldiers were killed in the same area.

Lansford has been recovering for six months at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC.

"I was walking with a walker a month ago, picked up on the canes and hopefully I'll be able to get rid of this one here in a few weeks," said Lansford.

Lansford landed at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport at 4 p.m. He was the guest of honor at Friday's "Battle of Snellville" football game between Brookwood High and South Gwinnett.

"This community has been very supportive. I couldn't have asked for a better hometown. They contributed to the Wounded Warrior project, lots of fundraisers, lots of cards and e-mails and I don't think I could have done it without them," said Lansford.

A police-escorted limousine was welcomed by the Gwinnett Fire and Gwinnett Sheriff's Honor Guard. He was also greeted by folks on the side of the road, some holding American flags. Lansford and his family were brought to the game, where a special ceremony was held at halftime. Lansford was presented with a commemorative plaque and a key to the city.

Lansford's parents and brother, who moved to Pennsylvania a few years ago, said they enjoyed their visit back to their Georgia home.

"It's overwhelming. Honestly, I don't know what to say because it's just extremely overwhelming," said Kim Lansford.

Sgt. Lansford said he's learned to keep his head up throughout his experience.

"Things happen, you can't always control how they do and why they do, but keep your head up, and drive on," said Lansford.

There are a number of activities in Gwinnett County this weekend honoring the local hero before he heads back to Walter Reed on Sunday.

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