Wounded Warriors greeted warmly as Heroes Week begins - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Wounded Warriors greeted warmly as Heroes Week begins

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Dozens clamored at the Huntsville terminal to greet vets at the start of Heroes Week. Dozens clamored at the Huntsville terminal to greet vets at the start of Heroes Week.
Friends and family of veterans know the importance recognizing our armed forces holds. Friends and family of veterans know the importance recognizing our armed forces holds.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Organizers worked for months to plan Wednesday's events honoring some special veterans.

Dozens of Wounded Warriors landed in Huntsville and received an outpouring of support from this community for the launch of the city's Heroes Week. Supporters said giving their time is the least they can do.

Two people embrace and exchange greetings and pleasantries. "What's going on? Good, how about yourself? Good to see ya." In any other airport on any other day, you wouldn't think much of it.

It's a standard greeting with a deeper meaning for those at Huntsville International Wednesday. For James West, these friends are more like family.

"As many people that are here, this isn't even a fraction of the support you feel in Huntsville," said West.

For West, this event is about giving that support back to the people sharing his title, Wounded Warrior.

During his service, more than 40-percent of West's body was burned. Over 40 surgeries later, he's just thankful to wake up in the morning.

"I flatlined twice when I was in the hospital and they brought me back. I was in a medically-induced coma for a couple months. So just being able to wake up, get out of bed, move, do stuff. It's a blessing, I love it," said West.

And from the smiles the other Wounded Warriors wore, it's clear they loved and appreciate the support of hundreds of people.

West and the other Warriors were bused to the Westin hotel for some rest, relaxation and preparation for more Heroes Week events, including concerts, fishing trips, and more.

In the days leading up to Veterans Day, these heroes will be greeted by more supporters waving American flags to honor them.

They are veterans who sacrificed nearly everything.

"Respect and patriotism are vital to a strong nation. Not only among those that serve it, but the people who support those that serve," said David Bates.

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