Green Hill Avenue in Parsippany is usually a quiet street. But traffic filled the area Sunday as hundreds turned out to a homecoming party for a man they call a hero: SFC Derek McConnell.
McConnell lost both his legs and part of his arm while trying to rescue his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan in July 2011. After a long recovery and rehabilitation period at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Md., he is now back at home with his family in Parsippany.
Among the many friends, family and neighbors who came to give their thanks and show their support for McConnell were Freeholder Hank Lyon, Mayor James Barberio, Caldwell Mayor Joe Alessi, Asw. BettyLou DeCroce, state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Also at the gathering were members of veterans groups the Band of Brothers, Warriors' Watch and the Marine Corps League.