BOISE - Dozens of well-wishers converged on the Boise Airport Wednesday afternoon to welcome home a police officer who was severely wounded during a shooting last year.
Boise police Cpl. Kevin Holtry arrived at about 5:45 p.m. to cheers, tears, "welcome home" signs, and a strong contingent of fellow officers.
As he deplaned, Holtry was immediately greeted with hugs from family members, including his two daughters.
Minutes later, as he entered the arrivals lounge with a large entourage in tow, a group of officers stood at attention, saluting their colleague.
Holtry, who was visibly emotional at the reception, said it was the support from family, friends, co-workers and the community that got him through the last few months.
"This is pretty overwhelming, that's for sure. I appreciate everybody coming out today," he told KTVB. "I think about Boise, and I think about coming back. All the support I've had has helped me through this in a huge way."
Holtry spent the last two months at Craig Hospital in Denver, where he underwent intensive physical rehabilitation for the traumatic spinal cord injuries he suffered in the shooting.
The 17-year department veteran was shot multiple times on Nov. 11 while searching for a wanted suspect on the Boise Bench. The shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down, and his left leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Always humble, Holtry insists that the fateful events of that day could have happened to any officer, and that he is not a hero.
"I just was doing my job," he said. "That's what we're supposed to do. I was tasked with something that day as a lot of guys were and I was just unfortunate to be on the receiving end of an evil person.
"Even when I was getting on the plane in Denver, people recognized me and came up and shook my hand," he added. "It makes me uncomfortable, it's not really what I seek out or who I am."
In announcing his return home, the Boise Police Department said Holtry has made great progress and is ready to continue his recovery at home.
DONATE: GoFundMe account for Cpl. Holtry
"I'm on a high, and I think our whole department is on a high," Chief Bill Bones said on Wednesday. "It's been some tough times, but today is a great day for us.
"Seeing Kevin come off that plane, and seeing the response of his family, his daughters," he added. "His family is just overwhelmingly happy. It's a sense of rejuvenation for our department."
Holtry, who plans to work as a training officer for Boise Police, said he can't wait to get back in uniform.
"It's gonna be the best day ever," he said. "I mean, there's a lot of pride that comes with that."
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