York County neighborhood welcomes home a wounded warrior


by 13News


Posted on November 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 1 at 6:50 PM

YORK COUNTY-- Flags and balloons lined the streets leading into the Cobble Creek neighborhood in York County Thursday, welcoming home a wounded warrior.

Nearly 150 people came out to greet First Lieutenant Rafael Chico-Lugo.  

Most of them he didn't know the soldier, but all of them wanted to be there to say thank-you.

Elaine Kross says everyone just wanted to express their appreciation for him serving his country.

The Virginia Patriot Guard Motorcycle group led the convoy for his homecoming. The Lieutenant arrived at his parent's house on the back of a motorcycle.

The usually shy Chico-Lugo says, "I don't like too much hype for myself.  I like serving others.  Its fun being on the receiving end."

The 25-year-old Army officer was wounded in Afghanistan in September of 2011.

He lost the lower part of his leg when a roadside bomb exploded and had to undergo 12 surgeries. 

Chico-Lugo was fitted with a prosthetic leg. "At least I'm able to come back home and walk around instead of being in a wheelchair," he said.

Last weekend he even ran what they call an Army ten-miler.  Half-way through though the rubber sole on his artificial leg broke off. 

The Lieutenant said, "I had to hop the rest of the rest of the way.  I spent three months training so I wasn't going to quit."

A graduate of Norfolk State University, Chico-Lugo says during his free time he'll be working on his graduate degree in International Relations.