Just one day after being awarded the purple heart after being injured in Afghanistan, Master Sergeant David Webber's friends gathered at Mid-Continent Airport to welcome him back to Wichita.
"Dave is a character. He is made of some pretty tough metal," said Lt. Col. Christine Pierce, who is Webber's squadron commander.
Webber, a 16 year veteran of the Air Force, deployed to Afghanistan on August 15th of last year. On Christmas Eve, he was injured during a mortar attack.
"That was a heart wrenching phone call," said Pierce.
"I'm very thankful that some how, some way, God had his hand on me. I was injured, but I was not injured to the point where I had to leave the service," Webber said Friday.
After undergoing surgeries, including a vein graph, Webber is starting to recover. The day before returning home to his wife Debbie, who also serves at McConnell, Webber received the purple heart.
"You're like, 'Wow, wouldn't that be something?'
"He is humbled by the fact that he received the purple heart and still has the ability to walk and talk and remain on active duty service," said Pierce.
Webber said he expects to make a full recovery and has every intention of staying in the service.
"It's a career that I love," said Webber.
He said when you have the kind of support he has, it makes it all worth it.
"To come back and see the support from Team McConnell is just incredible," said Webber.
Master Sergeant Webber will be back in Wichita for about a month before returning to Walter Reed for his checkups.