CORONA: Thousands in rain welcome home injured solider

Posted on December 20, 2012 by tclowdus
BY LESLIE PARRILLA The Press Enterprise
STAFF WRITER
Published: December 18, 2012;
Army Sgt. Jordan Sisco sat in a black Audi waving from a passenger window in
disbelief as thousands of people he didn’t know lined Main Street in Corona on
Tuesday, Dec. 18.
They were waving flags, holding signs, carrying babies and braving
intermittent rain to show the soldier they didn’t know that he meant something
to them.
The 22-year-old veteran, who lost both legs and his left thumb in Afghanistan
from an improvised explosive device, was coming home for several weeks before
returning to San Antonio for physical rehabilitation, said his father John
Sisco, who pushed his son in a wheelchair.
Jordan Sisco sat in front of his family’s house saying he didn’t deserve the
attention, but others did because they made the ultimate sacrifice. They didn’t
come back, and can’t see their families or see the same homecoming, he said.
Sisco stepped on an explosive while on foot patrol in Kandahar in July,
suffering additional damage to his pelvis, colon and bladder. He has been
undergoing medical treatment since the injury.
On Facebook, the Santiago High School graduate describes the difficulties
adjusting to a new life, especially relying on others for basic needs such as
opening a cupboard or taking food from the refrigerator.
“I’m no hero … People have been telling me I’m great and all that … The real
heroes are the ones that didn’t get to experience greetings like this,” Sisco
said. “My God, I’m so happy to see family and friends … I gave a little bit too
much, in my opinion.”
Sisco enlisted in 2008 and plans to leave the military after rehabilitation,
possibly to become a history teacher, said his father, who called his son a
“soldier’s soldier” who nearly died of his injuries.
“When he was a little kid, probably about the eighth grade … he knew that he
wanted to be in the military. He knew he wanted to make a difference,” the elder
Sisco said.
And to the thousands of people lining three miles of Main Street, including
13-year-old Joseph Moreau — who had been waving a large flag for 45 minutes
waiting for Sisco — the soldier made that difference. It was irrelevant to
Joseph that they didn’t know each other.
“Anybody who does come back is a friend of mine,” Moreau said, wearing a red
karate gi with other students. “It’s awesome that people serve and when they
come back, their spirits are still high.”
Several employees at First Team Real Estate postponed a meeting so about 30
of them could stand in front of their office at Main Street and Highway 91
waving flags to show support for Sisco’s police-escorted procession.
A little further up Main Street, paramedics and firefighters from Mission
Ambulance parked their ambulance at a gas station and stood on the sidewalk
holding flags as another unit answered calls.
“Another unit is clearing a call and going to join us, too,” paramedic Julie
Gold said.
About 45 children stood in the rain in front of All American Karate.
“It’s All American Karate,” owner John Lipari said. “How could we not be out
here?”