Hero's welcome for local soldier

July 3, 2009 3:45:47 PM PDT
It was an impressive welcome for a wounded warrior, Specialist Andrew Trotto of Flourtown.He arrived in a vintage convertible surrounded by dozens of motorcyclists.

Just minutes before, he and his new bride Danielle were welcomed by his family as he returned home from Iraq.

Trotto wasn't expecting such a fuss.

"It was pretty intense, I guess!" Trotto said, drawing laughter from the welcoming crowd. "I never had cameras in my face before!"

The 21-year-old soldier is recovering from traumatic brain injury. It's a delayed reaction to repeated, nearby explosions in combat.

"Memory issues, balance problems, headaches, blackouts," explained Trotto's mother, Gina Doyle, who added Trotto is getting better.

Scores of strangers were at the airport to welcome Trotto, organized by "Hero's Welcome" and "Warriors Watch."

"Why? Because we love our country, these guys deserve this. I have a son in the military. It's something you have to have a heart for," said Len Nikoden of Warrior's Watch.

Trotto and his family were escorted by police and well-wishers up I-95 to Cottman Avenue, then on to the family home in Flourtown.

He plans to reconnect with friends and family this July 4th weekend.

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