SANIBEL, Fla. - The Southwest Florida community banded together today to give a wounded hero the welcome home of a lifetime.
Corporal Jon Carnes lost his right leg and severely damaged his left leg after an IED attack in Afghanistan. That was November 2011. Carnes underwent 20 operations and spent months in inpatient care at Walter Reed National Military Hospital. He was stationed there in recent years.
Today, through Operation Open Arms, local fire stations, the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Coast Guard and local businesses, Carnes, a 2009 graduate of Gulf Coast High School in Naples, returned home to a larger than life gesture of appreciation.
Carnes and his girlfriend arrived at RSW, where May 5 was declared Cpl. Jon Carnes day. From there, a limo brought them to Sanibel Island. They accompanied by deputy escorts.
Sanibel and Iona-Mcgregor Fire firefighters set up ladder trucks after Span A of the Sanibel Causeway, where they hung an American Flag to greet the limo. The sheriff's office did a helicopter flyover while deputies lined the causeway to salute the retired Marine.
Carnes will stay free-of-charge on Captiva Island. Saturday, he will take part in the Ding Darling & Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament.
WINK News reporter Megan Contreras will have a full look at Cpl. Carnes' homecoming starting at 4.