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Injured Soldier Returns To Indiana To Hero’s Welcome

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Injured vet John Masson returns home to Indiana to a hero's welcome Friday. (CBS)

Injured vet John Masson returns home to Indiana to a hero’s welcome Friday. (CBS)

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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.

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