LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It was fanfare and well wishes for Lubbock firefighter Matt Dawson on his return home.
He is still recovering from a mid-January crash which claimed the life of a fellow firefighter Lt. Eric Hill and Lubbock police officer Nicholas Reyna.
Dawson survived, but suffered serious injuries.
“And the man sitting in that red vehicle right here in front of you left out of that fire station over there in a fire truck to render assistance to someone he had never met,” Shaun Fogerson, Lubbock fire chief, said.
And now, Dawson is back in Lubbock in good spirits.
In front of friends, family and strangers Dawson returned to the Hub City. This is his first time home in months.
He has been at Craig Hospital in Engelwood, Colorado, rehabbing from his injuries.
And during a welcome fit for a hero, was a gift fit for a hero.
“My purpose here today is to welcome you home,” Stewart Townsen, president of West Texas Hero Homes, said. “And see if it’s OK if you’ll allow us to build you a home.”
Construction on a mortgage-free home for the Dawson family is set to begin as soon as possible.
It was also a first for West Texas Hero Homes, which is the organization that made the gift possible.
“We’ve not had the opportunity to do one for a first-responder, yet,” Townsen said.
But now he is continuing his recovery quite a bit closer to home.
Dawson still has a long road ahead and the family is asking for the community’s help and some prayers.
“You always hear about how deep the fire family is and first responders being together,” Chanda Dawson, Matt Dawson’s wife, said. “You guys have shown us that and it’s absolutely amazing. So thank you so, so much.”