By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The City of Glencoe is welcoming home a native son, a wounded warrior, and a young man who is a hero in the eyes of his hometown and the surrounding area.
Josh Wetzel was seriously injured by an IED May 31, 2012 while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. The injuries he sustained required amputation of both his legs.
After months at Walter Reed Medical Center undergoing treatment and rehabilitation, Wetzel and his wife are coming home to spend a few days in Etowah County.
The Wetzels are scheduled to fly into Birmingham Friday and come home to what should be a warm reception.
Wetzel will receive the key to the city at Glencoe City Hall War Memorial Friday (Oct. 19) and will be welcomed again with an assembly Monday (Oct. 22) at Glencoe High School.
Also according to Facebook, at North Glencoe Baptist Church’s “Walk by Faith” service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday Wetzel will speak and worshop will be led by Josh Nichols and More Than This.
Wetzel posted the following message on the Facebook page “Prayers for Josh Wetzel:”
“Hi everyone. Just to clarify, we will be escorted from the airport to Glencoe City Hall immediately after our flight on Friday. If you would like to meet us at the airport, you are more than welcome. However, I would prefer that you all come to my hometown so that I can speak to everyone. We also feel it will cut down on traffic and travel time if we meet our crowd in Glencoe. Hopefully this makes travel plans easier for the majority and we wanted to make sure we were not asking everyone to try to come to Birmingham when we arrived. Thanks again – Josh”
City leaders plan to present Wetzel with a key to the city during a ceremony at city hall.
Glencoe High School will welcome Wetzel home with and assembly at 9 a.m. Monday in the high school gymnasium.
“Josh has a special place in our hearts and a love for his Alma Mater,” reads a letter signed by GHS Principal Charlton Giles, Student Government Association Faculty Advisor Jason Pierce, Assistant Principal Tammy George and SGA President Jordan Sims. “It is not every day that a war hero returns home to be a positive influence for our students and community.”
“We’re going to try to give him a hero’s welcome back to his hometown,” Giles said. Wetzel is a 2005 graduate of Glencoe High School.
Giles said he learned a week or so ago that Wetzel would be coming home on leave for a while and started coordinating with Wetzel’s uncle to arrange a time when he could come meet with high school and middle school students.
“I think he was very open to the idea of meeting with students,” Giles said.