WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It was a hero’s welcome home at Wichita’s airport for Brian Arterburn, the Wichita police officer who was critically injured on the job back in February.
Dozens of police cars and more than a hundred officers, friends and family lined the runway at the airport waiting for Arterburn’s arrival.
Support for Officer Arterburn poured in the moment he was hurt and it hasn’t stopped.
Family friend Robin Ragland Smith was excited, knowing her friend was finally coming back home.
“To see him come home is very moving today, it is a great day,” said Ragland Smith.
It was a sentiment echoed by many people in the community that have supported Officer Arterburn every step of the way.
“It’s a miracle, he’s amazing, he’s absolutely amazing, and we are so thrilled to see him up and about,” said Kim Ellis-Brier, Owner of Jewelry Savers.
Ellis-Brier has been giving out thin blue line rings in support of Arterburn since the Spring.
She says when she first heard what happened to Officer Arterburn, she felt like she had to do something.
“We knew he was badly hurt, we felt just compelled because the police don’t get enough thank you’s,” said Ellis-Brier.
Now, that the “Miracle Man” as some people call him, is back home, Ellis-Brier says the support won’t stop here.
She says they are crafting other ideas on how to continue to support Officer Arterburn and his family going forward.
“We will continue to support him and our policemen here and around the area, they don’t get enough credit, he’s a miracle,” said Ellis-Brier.
As for Officer Arterburn’s friends, like Ragland Smith, she says today was almost like an early Christmas present.
“It is the best Christmas present ever, ever, ever, ever,” said Ragland Smith.
After Officer Arterburn has a couple days to rest and settle back in at home, the Wichita Police Department is having a private celebration for him and his family.
That celebration is set to take place this weekend.