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Lance Cpl. Thomas Parker, a 2008 graduate of Ronan High School, lost all or part of both his legs, and all or part of his left hand when an improvised explosive device detonated underneath him while on duty in Afghanistan over the weekend.

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RONAN - You can't go far in this Mission Valley town without seeing a sign in support of Tomy Parker, the 21-year-old Ronan Marine who lost both his legs in Afghanistan last weekend.

From reader boards to handmade signs in business windows to buttons bearing his likeness, almost every message refers to him as a hero.

His mother, Lisa Jennison, learned this week that feeling goes well past the nearby snow-capped Mission Mountains.

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BETHESDA, Md. - Both of his legs are gone. The flesh was torn to shreds half a planet from here, and what little remained - mostly bone - was …

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BETHESDA, Md. - It's unbelievably tight quarters in the fifth-floor hospital room housing the two young Marines who both lost, among other thi…

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Lisa Jennison has offered steadfast support at the Maryland Navy medical center where her son, Lance Cpl. Tomy Parker, is recovering from severe IED injuries in Afghanistan.

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RONAN - The big Tomy Parker benefit planned here next weekend just added something pretty special: Tomy Parker himself.

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RONAN - If you're traveling on U.S. Highway 93 on Wednesday night you could get the impression that homes across two counties are on fire.

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As Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Parker of Ronan returned home Wednesday night for the first time since losing both legs and four fingers in Afghanistan, it was hard to tell what got to him more.

Maybe it was the huge greeting at Missoula International Airport that moved him to tears.

Then again, maybe it was the tears themselves.

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RONAN - They rolled in by the hundreds Saturday, close friends, distant relatives and complete strangers alike, never-ending waves of people w…

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RONAN - There was a time, Tomy Parker admits, when he couldn't wait to leave this Mission Valley community.

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SAN DIEGO - The last step Tomy Parker took - on Dec. 11, in Afghanistan - detonated a hidden bomb underneath the Marine from Ronan and blew of…

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SERRA MESA, Calif. - Sitting in his wheelchair in the sunshine in front of the new home he's about to move into, Tomy Parker hollers out a hel…

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RONAN - Lance Cpl. Thomas Parker of Ronan has three times returned home since losing two legs and most of one hand in a horrific explosion in …

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RONAN - Before they head back to San Diego after a month on leave, Tomy Parker will give his mother away.

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RONAN - There's been very little of anything you could call normal about the relationship between Tim Corbett and Lisa Jennison for the past nine months.

They've spent most of the time separated by more than 1,000 to 2,000 miles, ever since Jennison's oldest son, Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Parker, was nearly killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

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RONAN - It's not that it's back to reality for Tomy Parker.

Every morning he's woken up since coming home on a month's leave from the United States Marine Corps, his legs have still been missing. There's a reality for you.

But September is in his rearview mirror, and it is time to get back to the grind.

And a grind it has become, this learning to walk again.