Crowds Cheer As Cleveland War Hero, Amputee Walks Parade Route

"Ashley Jones Day" kicked off with a 10 a.m. parade in Cleveland to welcome home a young soldier wounded in Afghanistan. Jones served with the 45th Infantry Combat Brigade team.

Saturday, March 17th 2012, 9:25 am

By: News On 6


By Brandi Ball, NewsOn6.com

CLEVELAND, Oklahoma -- Cleveland welcomed home a favorite daughter Saturday. U.S. Army Specialist Ashley Jones  returned to a hero's welcome, including a parade in her honor.

The young Purple Heart recipient served in the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade in Afghanistan. She was in a convoy on December 18, 2011, when it was hit by an IED. 

The parade began at 10 a.m. with Patriot Guard bikers, the Cleveland High School Band and military veterans escorting Jones down Broadway Street from Caddo to Pawnee Streets.

With a block to go in the parade route, the vehicle transporting Jones stopped in the street, and she walked on a prosthetic leg in front of the car and waved to supporters.

Amid loud cheers and a lot of tears, Jones walked the rest of the way, to where folks gathered to shake the hero's hand.

3/17/2012 Related Story: Wounded Cleveland Soldier: 'I Did My Job'

As Cleveland Mayor Ron Shipman presented Jones with a proclamation declaring it "Ashley Jones Day," he got a little choked up.

"When she came walking down Main Street it was a beautiful sight," he said. "It was just beautiful."

Injured Cleveland Soldier Welcomed Home With Parade

Saturday was also Jones' 21st birthday, so after the crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the "Star Spangled Banner," it serenaded her with a chorus of "Happy Birthday."

In the IED explosion, Jones broke her back and pelvis, and her right leg was amputated at the knee. She has been recovering in a San Antonio military hospital.

12/26/2011 Related Story: Wounded Cleveland Soldier Speaks Of IED Attack, Recovery

Jones played basketball and softball for the Cleveland Tigers.

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