Wounded Barrow County soldier returns home - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Wounded Barrow County soldier returns home

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U.S. Army Specialist Samuel Walley returns home to Winder a hero today (Photo by Chris Shaw/FOX 5). U.S. Army Specialist Samuel Walley returns home to Winder a hero today (Photo by Chris Shaw/FOX 5).

A local wounded soldier received a big welcome home on Thursday.  U.S. Army Specialist Samuel Walley arrived in Augusta and headed to a celebration in Winder that's being held in his honor.

SPC Walley, 20, stepped on an IED last June while serving in Afghanistan. He lost one of his arms and one of his legs.   

FOX 5's Chris Shaw spoke to Walley and his father when they got to Augusta on Thursday afternoon.  His parents have been with him during his recovery at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.  

"If I wouldn't have had anybody there, imagine how devastating that probably would've been. So yeah, it's definitely been one of the only ways I was able to make it through. Nobody is going to make it through on their own," said Sam Walley.

Hundreds of people lined the streets in downtown Winder with signs and American flags to salute Walley.  He was escorted by a motorcade into Winder on Georgia Highway 11. This was his first visit home since he was hurt.

"If it would have been one person on the side of the street with a flag -- that would've made my day.  The fact that there's this many people, I didn't expect this," Walley said.

Walley, a 2010 graduate of Winder-Barrow High School, said that he remembers "every little detail" of the explosion that left him injured. He said that the reaction of his fellow soldiers has haunted him.

"It was so scary to see some of the looks on their faces," Walley said.

Walley said he still feels pain when he walks, but doctors have given him the OK to come home.

Hundreds lined the street to welcome him, thankful for his service and his sacrifice.

"I'm proud of him -- couldn't be more proud of him," said Sam's father, William Walley.

Sam plans on re-enlisting into the Army as a firearms instructor, his father said.

Sam is getting another homecoming gift. AmVets and Home Depot teamed up to remodel the basement in the Walley house to fit Sam's specific needs.  

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