Injured Soldier Returns To Indiana To Hero’s Welcome

LAKE STATION, Ind. (CBS) — Sgt. First Class John Masson was serving in Afghanistan when he lost three limbs. Now friends of the man who gave so much are counting on the public to give back to make Masson’s life easier, CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.

Masson’s “hero flight” touched down in Valparaiso just before 6 p.m. Friday. He rolled himself past dozens of supporters holding the colors of their country as friends and family brimmed with pride.

“It’s amazing,” the appreciative vet said. “I don’t even have enough words to express how beautiful this is and how much I appreciate it.”

Just a glimpse of Masson’s body shows how much he lost while serving his country. The wounds will change his life forever. He lost his left hand, which was his dominant hand, part of his left leg and his complete right leg.

An improvised explosive device caused his injuries three months ago.

“Once I stepped on it, it was just complete blackness,” Masson recalled. “To get the tourniquets on me as fast as they did, they saved my life so I didn’t bleed to death.”

Masson and his wife, Dustina, went to high school in Lake Station, Ind. Now the town is embracing the couple and their three kids, raising money to help the family recover.

“It’s really touching and mind-blowing, and he deserves every bit of it,” his spouse says.

She says each day is a test of her husband’s strength. Masson says he will walk again.

“It’s something I wish could be taped,” Masson says. “The day that it happens we could show it right back to the enemy, that you didn’t do anything to this guy. He’s right back, you know?”

The hometown welcome is already under way. They have a banner honoring Masson and a banner announcing the benefit from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday in Lake Station. Locals say it’s a small gesture for a man who dedicated 11 years of his life in military service.

Click here for more information about ways to help.

  • bbc

    thank you for my freedom

  • Tina Konjak-Catherman

    simply amazing!

  • Nick Chicago

    The federalgovernment should buy this man a house sensitive to his needs and send a big monthly check to cover everything else,my heart breaks whenever I read a story like this.God Bless this Vet and his family

  • Liz Jimenez

    They are the most amazing family I have ever known.

  • Jan Grado

    John Masson is an inspiration to so many, this hero continues to fight everyday with strong determination and always a postiive attitude . He was there for all of us now it is our turn to be there for John and his family. God Bless this American Hero!

  • kajer

    Please Donate.. to john at i was at the benefit tonight with my wife,,, john and her were highschool friends,,,, But please if you can donate,,, 5-10-20 anthing to this man… he is a wonderful spirit of the human kind,,,,

  • Carol

    This man is a hero and I agree with Nick Chicago – the government owes him some freedom with a house he can get around in just like the freedom he gave me. God Bless you John.

  • Audreta Dillard

    Amazing it is Tina

  • Anita

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I am praying for you through out your therapy and I can’t wait until you can walk again.

    I am the mother of a soldier in the Air Force.

    God Bless you and your family.

  • David Craft

    So glad to see you are home! God bless you, your family and the others who put their lives on the line for our country. Thank you John

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