TAMPA — When wounded warrior Marine Cpl. Michael Nicholson returns home Sunday afternoon, he'll be met with an extensive welcome organizers have been arranging for weeks.
And they want the public to turn out to help.
Nicholson was on foot patrol last July in Afghanistan when a hidden explosive claimed both his legs and part of his left arm.
The Plant High grad was taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for treatment. He underwent surgery after surgery, and has been fitted with prosthetics. His parents, Mary and John, have steadily been at his side there as he recovered.
When he returns home around 1:45 p.m. Sunday on a US Airways flight to Tampa International Airport, he'll be greeted by a crowd and a motorcycle escort.
The motorcade will be joined by Tampa police and Hillsborough County deputies, who will escort him along this route: from the airport to Interstate 275; right on Ashley Drive; right on Brorein Street to Bayshore Boulevard; right on Bay to Bay Boulevard; right on Manhattan Avenue; left on Church Avenue; then north to Christ the King Church at 821 S Dale Mabry Highway.
There will be a ceremony at the church, where the Nicholson family members are active.
Organizers are asking the public to be part of the welcome — turning out to greet him at Airside F at the airport or along the escort route, especially on Bayshore north of Bay to Bay.