A Chicago Policer officer and Army reservist who had his legs crushed during a mortar attack about a year ago has done what doctors said he would never do again: walk.
"It’s overwhelming,” the smiling soldier said, “thank you for all of this.”
Medina’s sister, Delilah, greeted him with a bunch of balloons. She never thought she would see the day when would walk again.
"It’s just beautiful," she sobbed. "It’s really amazing."
Medina’s legs were crushed when an aircraft hangar collapsed on him during a mortar attack in Afghanistan. He has spent the last 11 months in rehab, working toward the day he could return to his family and friends in Chicago.
"Medically, I am considered a quadriplegic," he explained. "It’s a blessing. It’s a miracle."
With a full police and Patriot Guard escort, Medina made the trip from Midway to his Northwest side home. Yellow ribbons and signs arranged by his neighbors awaited him.
Medina says his goal is to once again work as a Chicago Police officer.
Helping him reach that goal is former police superintendent Phil Cline, who is leading the Police Memorial Foundation’s Run To Remember on Saturday morning. The 5K run/walk raises money and awareness for fallen officers and those who have suffered catastrophic injuries.
"For every copper that screws up, there's a thousand like Pete Medina and that's what we have to remember," Cline said.
Medina will go back to Florida for more rehab next week. It is not known when he will be well enough to return to work.