Utah Welcomes Home a War Hero
PROVIDENCE, UTAH WELCOMES HOME A HERO,
The streets were lined in Providence, Utah on Friday to welcome home Specialist Erick Lund from the Iraq War.
More than 300 residents gathered around an emotional Spc. Erick Lund at Zollinger Park to welcome the Providence native — wounded in a northeast city of Kirkuk, Iraq last July — back to the bedroom community.
“As a soldier, there are a lot of things that make you want to cry,” Lund said. “Sometimes it’s just coming home to this.”
The overwhelmed Lund said he found out he was coming home last Monday or Tuesday, and planned on a quiet re-entry into the valley. He said he was flattered and honored by the attention bestowed upon him by the community.
As part of the day of celebration, Providence Mayor Alma Leonhart proclaimed Aug. 26 as Erick Lund Day. Family and friends applauded as Lund accepted the honor.
“He won’t let this stop him,” said Deanne Vanderford, who taught Lund piano when he was a youngster. “He’ll take the good and use it. He is worthy of being a symbol of those that gave so much.”
Lund has been serving with the Logan-based Utah National Guard’s Bravo Battery, 1-148th Field Artillery Battalion, in Kirkuk, Iraq. A make-shift roadside bomb exploded near his unit’s Humvee during a patrol on July 16, killing one of his comrades and wounding Lund and two others. Shrapnel caused wounds to the back of Lund’s head, the upper part of his back, his left thigh and his foot. His leg was broken in three places, requiring surgery and a partial amputation of his foot.
Doctors at Brooks Army Medical Center were able to save a large portion of his left foot, Lund said. The next several months will be filled with physical therapy and getting the best possible prosthetics, he said. Despite his injuries, Lund plans on staying in the military, running again and staying as active as ever — if not more.
“This is amazing,” said Hank Lund, father of Specialist Lund, of the event his town put together on short notice. “I had no idea something like this was possible.”