HICKSVILLE, OH (Toledo News Now) - A small Ohio town kicked off its Memorial Day weekend by welcoming home its very own hero.
Captain Christopher Rosebrock received a warm homecoming in Hicksville Friday.
"A 100 percent surprised. I had absolutely no idea that this was going to happen," said Rosebrock.
Rosebrock tried to soak it all in. He returned home to Hicksville Friday, only to find a surprise parade in his honor.
"It was incredible. Kids, veterans, World War II veterans, Vietnam veterans, 4-year-old kids. It was overwhelming," said Rosebrock.
The parade was organized by a fellow veteran.
"I got to check and find out to see if they had anything scheduled for Captain Rosebrock, and I decided my duty to make sure it happened," said Bob Kroeger.
Family, friends, local leaders and even people who had never met Rosebrock lined the street for a mile. Rosebrock received a Purple Heart and a promotion from first lieutenant to captain.
Rosebrock said this day was not just about him.
"It's just a reminder. I'm just one reminder of such a greater picture," explained Rosebrock.
He said the greater picture is all the men and women putting themselves in harm's way everyday, which is what Rosebrock did when he and his unit were walking through a park in northern Afghanistan.
"A very young Afghan got off a motorcycle, walked into the park and blew himself up," said Rosebrock.
The blast killed and injured several. Shrapnel went through Rosebrock's arms, legs and feet.
"I didn't know until about a day later the extent of everyone's injuries, and who had been killed and who was alive. It just broke my heart when I found out," said Rosebrock.
Which is why Rosebrock asked the hundreds of people celebrating his return to keep those still deployed in their prayers.
Rosebrock is still enlisted in the National Guard, but for now he is concentrating on healing and catching up with family and friends.