EDMOND — Kyle Stoy, a member of the National Guard, said he is proud of the medals he received after being injured in Afghanistan, but those honors didn't compare to the homecoming he got from his fellow Edmond police officers.
“All that topped the medals hands down,” Stoy told The Oklahoman on Friday.
Stoy landed on Oklahoma soil Thursday to find 19 police officers lining the walkway at Will Rogers World Airport.
Police SWAT team members, where Stoy served for seven years, were waiting with big smiles to welcome him home.
Tears flowed all around as Stoy hugged his fellow officers.
The 12-year veteran of the Edmond Police Department was injured Nov. 30 while on patrol in Langham province. The vehicle he and six other soldiers were riding in hit a roadside bomb.
He has been in rehab in San Antonio, Texas.
A caravan of 18 Edmond police cruisers brought Stoy from Oklahoma City to his front door in Edmond. On-duty officers and firefighters blocked the intersections along Broadway as the caravan passed through the city.
Officers standing outside their cars saluted him on his way home. More than 50 were standing in Stoy's front yard while a police chaplain said a prayer.
“It was impressive,” Stoy said. “There was a rush of emotion. This is my family. They love me and I love them.”
Stoy arrived home the same day more than 170 members of his 45th Infantry Brigade combat team arrived in Oklahoma.
He was on crutches and wearing a brace on his right foot and leg. Stoy said the blast completely detached his heel, which was put back in place with a steel plate and a dozen screws.
“I have got a long road,” Stoy said. “I will have to learn to walk all over again. I know it is going to be tough a challenge. I am ready for it.”
He expects his recovery to take at least a year. His goal is to work with the SWAT team again.
But first, he wants to walk down the aisle for his Sept. 8 wedding to Mariel Pacey, who met Story at the airport gate with his 10-year-old daughter,
“I want to be walking without crutches or a cane,” Stoy said. “My therapist said I would be dancing. I may have one shoe bigger than the other.”
Police Chief Bob Ricks said Stoy's job is there for him when he is ready.
Stoy was just hanging out at home with his daughter and fiancee Friday. They wanted to see the “Hunger Games” movie, but tickets were sold out.
“I want to just snuggle on the couch with my family and watch some movies,” Stoy said. “I want to do the simple things that I have missed.”