A big welcome home for a Wounded Warrior is planned on Thursday morning by a new Christian support group.
Spc. Andrew Smith and his wife, Tori, will arrive home for a visit at 7:45 am at Wilson Air Center located behind the Chattanooga airport.
Andrew is a specialist in the US Army who lost both legs in March while serving in Afghanistan. The incident occurred on his first mission of his first tour of duty. The Smiths now live on the base of Walter Reed Medical Center where Andrew undergoes daily rehab and will still have to endure several more surgeries over the next 6-9 months.
Steps 2 Hope, a new non-profit organization aimed at helping young people who have experienced life-changing events that affect their mobility, is organizing the welcome home event. The first goal of Steps 2 Hope is to raise enough money to build the Smiths a handicap-accessible home in the Chattanooga area. Both Tori and Andrew grew up here and intend to settle in the area once Andrew is released from Walter Reed Medical Center.
Andrew is a 2005 graduate of Chattanooga Christian School (CCS), where he and his three siblings have attended since kindergarten. His mother serves on the faculty of the Upper School. Specialist Smith is being honored as the Grand Marshall of CCS Homecoming festivities this Friday night. Andrew and Tori will be featured during halftime of the CCS-Grundy County football game that begins at 8 p.m.
CCS students will be attending the welcome home event along with family, friends and host of community supporters. The CCS student body has been participating in fundraising events this month to assist Steps 2 Hope in building a house for the Smiths. They plan to provide Steps 2 Hope with a check from their efforts at the game.
Andrew and Tori are 2009 graduates of Lee University in Cleveland.
Steps2Hope is non-profit agency recently founded by several Christian families "that are committed to honoring Christ by serving young adults who are faced with life changing loss of mobility from traumatic events." To learn more about Steps 2 Hope please visit the website, steps2hope.com.