A Hero's Welcome for Local Soldier
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- In 2010 NewsChannel 5 introduced a local teen who moved to Gateway with his family, and since then was the only person in his class to graduate; he even won a new car that year because of his perfect attendance.
Pfc. Dustin Copeland has since been serving in the Army, and he received a hero's welcome as he returned home on Wednesday.
The airport was filled with family members and several veterans with the Patriot Guard Riders to welcome back Copeland.
It's a moment Kevin and Connie Hogan, Copeland's parents, have been waiting for, for more than a year.
"We had a couple close calls in Afghanistan and almost lost him, so we're anxious for him to come home," said Kevin Hogan prior to his son's arrival.
The airport was lined with supporters holding American flags, all who broke into applause when Copeland finally walked through the airport doors.
"As I saw everybody it was just like wow, wow," said Copeland.
He only has 15 days before he must return to North Carolina where he's stationed, but plans to use that time wisely.
"I'm planning on getting my car ready to go back to North Carolina and having fun with my family," said Copeland.
Copeland currently has a year left of service with the Army.