(Originally published on Dec. 15, 2011)
A large crowd gathered on Main Street in Bogart on Thursday afternoon with banners, American flags and yellow ribbons, thrilled to greet hometown hero Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Boucher.
It was the first time he'd visited the town since he left for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Six months ago he was injured from an IED blast. The explosion resulted in bilateral amputation of his legs below the knee and other injuries and he has been recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, learning to walk all over again.
Michael is home on a 30-day convalescent leave and he is to return to the hospital for therapy and treatment for several more months.
"It was very exciting to go to downtown Bogart today and to see all of the people there waiting to see Michael arrive home," his father, Jim Boucher, wrote on Michael's CaringBridge website Thursday night.
Michael traveled with his sister Britany.
"Thank God for their safe return and I am sure that the month that they will be home is going to go way too quickly. But, for now, Kim and I are just going to enjoy Britany and Michael being here!!!!" he wrote.
The entire community is invited to a welcome home reception for Michael on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. in the cafeteria of North Oconee High School.
A chaplain, patriot guard member and Michael and his father each will say a few words at the beginning of the reception. There will also be plenty of food and fellowship, his father said in a recent interview.