PUYALLUP, Wash. - Friday night, friends and family of Army Specialist Jereme Sawyer were gathered at Pierce County’s Airport for a very special homecoming. Donors came together to bring the wounded soldier home for his birthday.
In April, Sawyer was hit with an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. Since then, he's been recovering at a Texas hospital and fighting a case of homesickness.
Commercial airliners couldn't accommodate his injuries, so donors came through to give him a very special lift home.
“Spanaway is home,” Sawyer said as he greeted friends and loved ones. Some hadn’t seen him since he was hurt.
Sawyer’s recovery is going to be a long journey. “My eardrum was perforated; my pelvis fractured in ten different places,” he explained.
The explosion tore off his legs and nearly broke his spirit. “I ask myself all the time, why was I given a second chance?”
Sawyer has been leaning on fellow soldiers and loved ones while he recovered at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. He said the staff at the hospital has been instrumental in his healing but he still wanted to come home.
“I just want to see my boys, that's my birthday wish,” Sawyer explained. “I told them I'd like to go the ocean, that would be fun.”
Family members say it's an important step in his journey and theirs.
“I don't even have words to tell you how proud of him I am,” his mother Merry Sawyer said.
He returns to Texas on October 8th, where he faces more surgery and the uphill battle to walk again. He's determined to do it, for his sake and other wounded warriors
“Maybe I can help others just by being the way that I am,” he explained.
He's already planning to come back; hopefully, next time for good.