Posted at: 07/12/2013 7:04 AM
Updated at: 07/12/2013 5:47 PM
By: Janet Lomax
A hero, for sure. A local soldier wounded overseas returns home to his family. He's only 21 years old, but he has already served our country, risked his life, and met the president. On Friday, friends and family welcomed U.S. Army Specialist Danny Fittos back home.
Fittos was injured during a rocket attack in Afghanistan back in May. He suffered an injury to his hip from shrapnel and spent the last two months recovering at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C.
Specialist Danny Fittos was just seventeen when he enrolled in the Army through his high school's future soldier program. Since then, he's served two tours of duty overseas and re-enlisted once. He graduated from West Irondequoit High School in 2009 and immediately made his way to Fort Drum for army training.
He was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he got hurt. On May 30, he and his sergeant were studying for promotion board exams when a rocket exploded. Fittos suffered a fracture to his hip and a shrapnel wound. He spent a few days in Germany before being taken to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. for rehab efforts.
News10NBC spoke to his mother about what it was like getting that call that her son had been hurt in action. She says she knows how blessed she is.
Corene Fittos, Danny's mom, said, "I'm not mourning a loss. I'm praising a survival. That first phone call from him gave me the strength to know that he was ok, so I didn't get all upset. I heard in his voice that he was fine. A mother always knows how badly a child's hurt, just by their voice and I knew that he was going to be fine."
Besides his mom and other family members, Specialist Fittos was greeted by a large group of people when he returned home including veterans, Honor Guard members and volunteers. He said this isn't the first large show of support he's seen and that sort of spirit is what has helped him through his recovery.
Spc. Danny Fittos said, “It's been very nice having all the people here, there's a lot of support from everybody from the time I got hurt to the time I'm here. You can see here all the support from everybody makes it that much easier. Everything I went through, having the support from everybody it sort of helps everything along the way. Just me, I'm one person but everybody you know, came out here, showed the support. There's a lot of people here just for me. It's kind of makes you feel special."
Spc. Danny Fittos said he's still weighing his options, but hasn't ruled out continuing military service. As for his mother, she says she's hoping he'll choose to go to college rather than back into the Army.