Crash Survivor Returns to Hero's Welcome - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Wynne
DeShaunta Bullock Reports

Crash Survivor Returns to Hero's Welcome

Army Sgt. James Sides speaks with reporters Thursday. Sides survived a May 2003 Blackhawk helicopter crash that killed three other American soldiers. (KAIT/D.Westerhold) Army Sgt. James Sides speaks with reporters Thursday. Sides survived a May 2003 Blackhawk helicopter crash that killed three other American soldiers. (KAIT/D.Westerhold)
Sgt. James Sides is embraced by Arkansas Lt. Governor Win Rockefeller during a welcome home celebration in Wynne Thursday. (KAIT/D.Westerhold) Sgt. James Sides is embraced by Arkansas Lt. Governor Win Rockefeller during a welcome home celebration in Wynne Thursday. (KAIT/D.Westerhold)

July 10, 2003 -Posted at: 5:21 p.m. CDT

WYNNE, Ark. -- The only soldier to survive a fatal Blackhawk helicopter crash in Iraq returned home to a hero's welcome in Region 8 Thursday.

Crowds lined the streets of Wynne to welcome home Army Sgt. James Sides, who was injured in a May crash that killed three other American soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

State dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Win Rockefeller and First Lady Janet Huckabee, honored Sides with a neighborhood parade.

Sgt. James Sides says, his family has been his driving force. "The scariest thing for me was thinking I wouldn't be able to throw a football with my boys.  I have two boys and they mean the world to me, my family is priority one."

Sides says doctors told him, medically speaking he should have died. "After being underwater for three minutes you're legally brain dead, I was under for five to seven minutes and I'm still here. 

Some consider Sides to be a hero but he says the real heros are still over in Iraq serving the  country.  Sides says those soldiers still need the support he was fortunate to come home to today. "If you don't think you do for your soldiers think about the prayers you send out because if it wasn't for those and the good Lord I wouldn't be here today."

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