05 September 2012

Wounded warrior returns to Juneau

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Thomas McRae sits outside the Alaska State Capitol with his daughter, Aidan, 4, after meeting government officials on Tuesday. Photo: Michael Penn / Juneau Empire.

When U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Thomas Howard McRae rolled into a Juneau pizza parlor earlier this week, people couldn’t help but stare.

The two missing legs. The prosthetic arm. The wheelchair.

Then, the grey T-shirt that says, “If you keep staring, they may grow back.”

“You may as well have fun,” McRae said with a sly grin.

The 30-year-old Explosive Ordnance Technician returned to Juneau this week to visit his parents and the place where he was born and raised. It was his first time back since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Jan. 16.

Take a few moments to read this Hero's story about his injury, his recovery, his homecoming - and his incredible spirit.

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