POMEROY — The idea was to get a few friends and family members together to welcome home a soldier on Tuesday evening, but it became much more after the Facebook post was shared hundreds of times by those throughout the area.
On Tuesday morning, Lee Roberts posted to Facebook inviting friends and family to welcome home SPC Colten Walters, the son of Roberts’ friend Trish Rizer, along with fellow soldier SPC Spencer Altfilish.
Walters’ first request upon coming home was to enjoy his favorite hot wings at Fox’s Pizza Den, making that the gathering point for the evening.
Organizers worked throughout the day to organize fire trucks, motorcycles and law enforcement to escort the soldiers through town, while others lined the street in the area of Fox’s or the Pomeroy parking lot with signs, flags and other patriotic symbols.
The escort parade looped through the downtown area before bringing the soldiers, riding on a Rutland fire truck, back to Fox’s. Hugs, tears and many media interviews ensued before Walters could finally have dinner with family and friends.
Walters, from Meigs County, and Altfilish, a native of Woodland, Washington, are both stationed in El Paso, Texas, and have been deployed for nearly a year in Kuwait with BRAVO Company.
Walters and Altfilish said they were not expecting the homecoming reception they received from the community.
Walters noted that he is blessed to have so much support back home, which is something that a lot of troops don’t have.
For Altfilish it was his first time in Meigs County. He noted that it was awesome to see the support of so many in the community, taking part in the event.
After photos, interviews and many hugs, the soldiers were able to enjoy their wings.