LONG LAKE—A wounded warrior from Tipler will be getting a big welcome home here on Saturday, March 1.
Marine Corps Corp. Randy Smith, who turns 23 later this month, was injured while serving in Afghanistan last summer. He will be welcomed back home with a reception at the Long Lake Town Hall, starting at 2 p.m.
The reception is for “anybody who wants to show their appreciation,” said his mother, Sheila Smith, “and welcome home, what I call him, our hometown hero.”
A Patriot Guard Run will escort Smith back home. Starting from the Midtown Mall in Iron Mountain, the procession, including police and fire vehicles, will escort him east to Florence. From there, Florence officials and the Long Lake Fire Department will take him the rest of the way. Smith is a member of the Long Lake department.
A 2010 graduate of Florence High School, Smith was injured on Aug. 17, 2013, in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. He was a passenger in a wrecker, part of a 28-vehicle convoy, when a remote-controlled roadside bomb was detonated.
He received traumatic brain injury, suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and minor injuries to his shoulder, hip and knees. He is having therapy for his injuries. “Pretty minor, considering he was hit by a 220-pound IED,” said his mom.
“He received a Purple Heart, and he’s in the Wounded Warrior program at Camp Lejeune, N.C.” This will be his first trip home since getting injured.
Smith graduated from Florence High School in 2010 and worked at the Northeastern Products plant in Caspian before being called to service in 2011.