By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -
It's a homecoming Army Pfc. Corey Leach wasn't sure he would ever make it back to.
Corey Leach, a U.S. soldier, was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in September. The blast took his left eye, sent shrapnel through his neck and chest and collapsed a lung - all this on his first tour. Yet Corey Leach remains positive.
"We're doing the right thing over there, and I was just one of the unlucky people, but I'm alive so, that's good," he said.
A Facebook page started by a group of umpires made all the difference.
Leach grew up a 3&2 umpire in Johnson County. When the umps found out what happened to their friend they started the Cory Safe at Home campaign to help his family have the means to travel while Corey Leach was in the hospital.
Wednesday meant everything to his umpire friends.
"We're there for them, it is one big family, we're all in it together, we like to stay in touch and do what we can to support them when they are overseas," said 3&2 umpire Lee Whitmann.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would meet a group of guys that come together like this," Mike Leach, Corey's dad, said.
It's been a tough few months for the Leach family, as Corey Leach's older brother was recently diagnosed with cancer, making this homecoming extremely important.
"He is a true hero to me, I wasn't expecting him home for the holidays. I thought he'd be over there fighting for his country so, to have him here, I'm blessed," Jackie Leach, Corey's mom, said.
Wednesday afternoon Corey Leach finally made it safe at home.
It's a short homecoming for Corey Leach. After this weekend he heads to San Antonio, but he will get three weeks with his family at Christmas.
Corey Leach is starting to get some vision back in his eye and will have another surgery on it when he returns to San Antonio.
Click here to read our previous story on Corey Leach and the 3&2 umpires.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:00:37 GMT
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