Marine thankful to be back home in San Jose

November 23, 2011 8:10:39 PM PST
For a San Jose family, home for the holidays takes on special meaning this Thanksgiving. Their young Marine is home, badly wounded, but home. On Wednesday his family was at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport to welcome him home.

Cpl. Daniel Franke had a look of surprise when he saw a crowd waiting for him, but it was he who surprised them by even walking.

He joined the Marines right out of high school and trained to work with dogs that sniffed out improvised explosive devices. He was on his second tour in Afghanistan when something exploded beneath his foot on Oct. 1.

"All of the explosives went out, went off so I only got a little bit of what could have done off and if it all went off, I would have been dead almost guaranteed so I'm lucky," said Franke.

Franke is the sixth Marine in his platoon in recent months to step on an IED; one died, four lost limbs.

"I think that we should be thankful for all of them, not just Daniel in general, but maybe he should represent everybody it serves," said Carl Franke, Daniel's father.

The 24-year-old Marine will be fitted next week for a prosthetic left foot. He is already planning his future ? he wants to go into law enforcement, maybe K9 training since that's what he has been doing.

Every homecoming, every family gathering will have special meaning this holiday but for the Franke Family, there is an extra reason to give thanks.

"I'm so happy that he's home and able to be here for Thanksgiving with him. It's beyond words," said Allison Franke, Daniel's sister.

His mother has been at the hospital with him since early October so the family is also grateful to have also have her home.


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