Nov 18, 2012 6:06 PM by Lacey Steele

Welcome Home lunch benefits Lance Cpl. Colton Carlson in Pueblo

A hero has come home to the Home of Heroes.

With the help of many in Pueblo, the American Legion Riders officially welcomed home Lance Cpl. Colton Carlson today with a special luncheon in his honor.

Here's more on this amazing marine who was injured overseas this past May.

It was something he always knew he would do.

"My grandfather on my mom's side was a Marine, and that's what got the thought started when I was about eight years old," said Carlson.

This past May, Carlson's life changed when he stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs.

"Pretty much from the moment that it happened, I instantly got that appreciation for life," said Carlson.

One thing that surprised him was prosthetic technology.

"I knew I was going to be in a wheelchair, that's what I thought," said Carlson. "I was still willing to do whatever it took to stick around a little bit longer."

Now he's been walking for five months!

Nothing can hold him back!

It's one of the many reasons the American Legion Riders wanted him to have a full escort and a welcome home lunch.

They send care packages to local soldiers fighting overseas, and Carlson was one of them.

"We immediately knew that we wanted to do something because our purpose is to serve first and foremost all of our local soldiers," said Marie Manzanares, Treasurer of the American Legion Riders.

The community came together quickly, including Pueblo Police, other bike groups, and Pueblo Community College.

"It's been amazing and real humbling, a lot of awesome people that have been so welcoming," said Carlson.

"He's very likeable," said Butch Chavez, a veteran with the American Legion Riders. "It's overwhelming for him. We've been doing things for him since he got here on November 7."

He's not home to stay just yet.

"Starting in January, I'm going to go back and kind of finish up my therapy, and it will be a few more months after that before I can come home for good," said Carlson.

That home is Pueblo.

"Great town," said Carlson. "I look forward to coming back for good and be able to call it home again."

All proceeds from the Welcome Home lunch will go to Carlson.

If you would like to help out but couldn't make it to today's lunch, there's a fund set up in his name at Wells Fargo for medical and living expenses.

Plus, if you know of a local soldier overseas who needs a care package, you can contact the American Legion Riders.

Click here to visit the page of one of their veterans.


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