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Locals invited to welcome soldier home

WINDER -- When's the last time you thanked a soldier for his service?

A local chapter of American Veteran's Riders is offering people the chance to do just that Thursday as they welcome U.S. Army Specialist Samuel Walley of Barrow County, who is returning home for his first visit since suffering an injury in June 2012.

A Winder-Barrow High School graduate, Walley, 20, lost an arm and a leg in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.

Escorted by the Georgia State Patrol, Walley will arrive Thursday in Winder on Highway 11, turn west on May Street and north on North Broad Street. The escort will arrive at Bethlehem First Baptist Church at 3:45 p.m.

All are invited to come out, line the streets and welcome Walley home.

"We want to make sure he knows we support him and haven't forgotten about his service to the country," said event organizer Michelle Walker. "We're hoping people can come out and join us with 'welcome home' signs, flags or just to stand out there waving."

According to its website the American Veteran's (AMVETS) Riders Chapter 12 is a group of "like minded, patriotic, veterans who enjoy riding motorcycles and assisting our wounded brothers and sisters in arms."