A welcome home cake greeted Marine Cpl. Justine Crabbe of Rancho Cucamonga.
A welcome home cake greeted Marine Cpl. Justine Crabbe of Rancho Cucamonga. (Micah Escamilla/Correspondent)

Storify: Rancho Cucamonga welcomes wounded Marine Justin Crabbe home

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA -- Wounded warrior Justin Crabbe was welcomed home Saturday with love and admiration at a celebration at Central Park.

Crabbe, a 23-year-old Marine Corps corporal, returned home three weeks ago after 15 months of rehabilitation following a bombing in August 2011 in Afghanistan

The Purple Heart recipient said it's great to be home.

"When I see those mountains, I know I'm home," he said.

Crabbe lost both his legs above the knee and some fingers as a result of the explosion.

On Saturday, he was surrounded by family, friends, city officials and fellow residents at the celebration, which also served as a "thank you" to those who had shown him and his family support while he was recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

Mayor Dennis Michael presented Crabbe with a city proclamation recognizing his service and sacrifice.

Michael said he attended a fundraiser at Legends Burgers for Crabbe and his family.

"It was incredible to see a family putting together a program and this community coming together and doing something beyond what anyone would have ever anticipated," the mayor said. "And today, it's just another example of that outpouring of love and appreciation that you're with us here today."

Army Maj. Gen. Paul Mock also spoke Saturday.

Fire Chief Mike Bell and Mike McCliman, president of the Rancho Cucamonga Professional Firefighters Association, presented Crabbe with a fire helmet with a Green Bay Packers logo.

Warrior Events, a Maryland-based non-profit organization, is sending Crabbe and his family, who are avid Packers fans, to the Packers game against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 2.

Now that Crabbe is home, he said he will be relaxing until the beginning of the year, when he plans to attend college.

"It's nice to be home," he said. "I'm just getting back to a normal life."


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