An Iowa military hero is home for the first time since being severely injured in Afghanistan. To honor him, a day of celebration took over his hometown of Cedar Falls in eastern Iowa.
Friends rallied together quite the hero's welcome for 23-year-old Taylor Morris. From Patriot Guard Riders to law enforcement to complete strangers, they waited for his arrival Thursday afternoon.
Morris, a navy explosive ordinance disposal tech, lost parts of all four limbs while serving in Afghanistan in May. He's been recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center. His family and girlfriend are documenting it all from re-learning how to walk, dance, pick up a knife and flip a pancake.
"Taylor's such a hero in so many ways," said supporter Samantha Wingert. "It doesn't surprise me at all that all of us would come together to do whatever we can to support him."
Walking out from the airport wearing two prosthetic legs and a prosthetic arm, Morris sees just the beginning of his welcoming party. A convertible ride takes him through town past thousands of supporters, many waving flags.
"A great friend. You couldn't ask for anything better. He's loyal to his girlfriend. He's loyal to his family members, his friends, the military, all that," said friend Ben Hagerty. "He's just a strong person. It's incredible."
Even President Obama has recognized Morris' inspiring story. He visited him in the hospital and invited him to the White House. He also presented Morris with the Purple Heart.
Morris hasn't been home since January when he was deployed on his first tour. After his visit he'll return to Walter Reed to continue the healing process.