BETHESDA, Md. - A Maryland hero was welcomed home from deployment in Afghanistan in style Friday night-- by his entire neighborhood. Army Lieutenant Col. Benjamin Potter, an orthopedic surgeon from Bethesda, has spent the last four months caring for injured service members and Afghan allies.
Lt. Col. Potter had a block party waiting for him to help him celebrate his return—and of course, a very happy family. The neighborhood scooter brigade parade is actually a tradition for the Potter family, one that pumps up the whole neighborhood.
“I’m exceptionally lucky to be part of such a close-knit community,” Lt. Col. Potter told FOX 5.
The last time Lt. Col. Potter deployed in 2011, a children’s book called My Dad’s a Hero inspired his kids to hold a neighborhood parade when he came home. This time, even though they’re a bit older, his children—Hazel, James and Flora—wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, their neighbors marched and waved flags just like they did the first time he came home—side by side with their soldier. It was a reminder that family members and friend of military members overseas are heroes, too.
“This isn't for me,” Lt. Col. Potter said. “This is for my kids and my family. They are the ones who have been doing without me for so long, and the ticker tape and bells and whistles and decorations I think is something they can appreciate, so it's a nice family celebration of me being able to be back and be part of their lives on a regular basis.”
Lt. Col. Potter returns to work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center until his next deployment.