GOWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A long road to recovery for a wounded serviceman is finally bringing him home to stay in the Southtowns.
Sgt. James Hackemer of Gowanda was welcomed home a couple years ago, but wasn't actually able to stay home until now.
Sgt. James Hackemer rode in a military Hummer escorted by local volunteer fire companies and the New York Patriot Guard Riders.
It has been just over three years since this Gowanda native lost both his legs in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq.
Since then his rehab has been taking him from Boston to Virginia to Reed Army Medical Center where he has learned to walk with prosthetics and even ride a bike pedaled by his hands.
He is glad to be able to finally live in Gowanda again after three years of rehab.
Sgt. James Hackemer said, "I consider Boston rehab my rebirth because I had to relearn how to talk, write, read, see and eat. I consider Boston my rebirth."
"The outpouring of all of western New York is phenomenal for caring for soldiers and families that have been broken. I said this is home James," said Nancy Hackemer.
About 300 people came out for his welcome home party.
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