RINCON, Ga (WSAV) – It was a hero’s welcome for a local soldier finally back home after he was severely injured after an attack in Afghanistan.
Five months ago he was clinging to life after stopping a suicide bomber at the Bagram Air Base. The blast killed four people. This is the first time in nearly a year Winston Hencely has returned home to Georgia.
“I knew that they were here but not like here here, I did not know whether or not they were going to make it so it’s nice,” says the soldier.
Once he was stable, Hencely returned to the States and spent the last months recovering up north. His family and Hencley himself know he’s lucky to be alive.
“You go from being somebody who does pretty much whatever they want, gets a lot of what they want and then you go to where you really can’t do anything without somebody helping you so it’s a humbling experience,” Hencely says.
What also is humbling is how he is now hailed a hero by his community.
“He got injured supporting our country and the least we can do is support him on his way home,” says Rincon Fire Chief Corey Rahn.
Dozens lined highway 21 in front of city hall to welcome Hencely who was escorted back to his family home. All of it was spurred through social media trying best to keep the surprise welcome quiet for the family.
“We were able to gather here today and assemble because of men like Winston, men and women excuse me like Winston they go out and they fight for us, that’s the least we can do is to support this family and this is just the beginning,” says Susie Davis with Effingham HEROES.
Hencely does begin treatments at his family home now. In around forty days he’s set for another surgery. His family is hopeful about the recovery though and think being home will only help him get back to normal.
“I feel like him being home it’s going to help him heal a little faster because he’s going to have his friends, it won’t be a hospital atmosphere so,” says little sister Ivey Hencely.
The state of Georgia has recognized Hencely for what he did. It is rumored the bomber was targeting a well populated building on the base and if Hencely and his patrol had not questioned the bomber, there’s no telling what could have happened. The city plans to honor him later in May by naming a day after him.
As the family continues to do treatments and therapy, community groups plan to hold fundraisers to support the medical costs.