WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE: Nov. 30 12:30 p.m.
The Sedgwick County Employee Association posted a photo on their Facebook page that shows Caleb Moraine meeting Brian during his visit home on Wednesday.
In the post, the organization says:
Today was a great day for #bravewarriors! Caleb and Brian had never met in person but became fast friends through each other's social media posts as they both faced their medical battles this year. They have stayed in touch as they encouraged and supported each other. Caleb was excited to present the rock that he painted and has been carrying with him to remember Brian’s fight.
UPDATE (4:23 p.m.): The Wichita Police Department and the community of Wichita welcomes home Officer Brian Arterburn Wednesday afternoon.
After months of recovery, Officer Brian Arterburn walked off the plane with a little help from his wife at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.
The crowd yelled. Then, the recovering officer was greeted by all of his family and friends.
"Everybody is excited for Brian to get here and to continue his rehabilitation here in town," said Officer Arterburn's Patrol Captain, Jeff Weible.
Wednesday was a happy occasion - drastically different than when Arterburn left for rehabilitation at a Colorado hospital.
In February, Arterburn was hurt while deploying a tire-deflation device. Police say a wanted suspect failed to stop and hit the officer.
"The difference between that day and today is uncertainty as far as how long the rehabilitation would take," said Weible.
Arterburn went through months of recovery and setbacks, but Weible says the community support and well wishes helped him pull through.
"Your support not only locally, but nationally has been amazing," said Weible.
Wednesday afternoon, while everyone awaited the officer's arrival, a surprise came through his own message.
"Hey, thank you very much for coming out and being big supporters like the rest of the people out here," said Officer Arterburn. "I miss home, I miss my children, I miss my family. It's so nice to be back here. I'm ready to get back to work and serve the public once again."
Arterburn's partner, Officer Janette Griggs, who was with him the day he was injured, was right there to take him home.
"The job and the work is part of who Brian is," said Weible. "He told me he's going to be work tomorrow, and I said well, take your time because there's a lot of work to be done."
Even after months of rehabilitation, Arterburn still has months of recovery ahead of him.
A second "Welcome Home" celebration will be held for Officer Arterburn and his family on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Harvest Community Church, 8340 W. 21st St. N. from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is only for law enforcement and media members.
UPDATE: Eyewitness News has learned that Officer Brian Arterburn will return to Wichita today.
The Wichita Police Department says he will return this afternoon at 2:00 at Signature Flight Support, where he will be welcomed by a line of officers before returning to his home.
Eyewitness News will carry his return live here on www.kwch.com and on Facebook.
Officer Arterburn had been receiving medical treatment at facilities in Colorado and Texas since being struck by a car on the job back in February.
Arterburn was assisting with an investigation of a stolen vehicle and a known suspect with multiple felony warrants at a home in the 2100 block of south Topeka. The driver took off.
As officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver accelerated and refused to stop. Officer Arterburn was run over by the vehicle, causing multiple critical injuries.
Officer Brian Arterburn will come home to Wichita this week.
The announcement was made Tuesday night on the Facebook page, "Wearing Blue for Brian Fridays".
According to the post, there will be some type of public celebration once the family comes home and gets settled.
"Your prayers have helped get him this far so don’t stop! Woo Hoo the Miracle Superman and his WonderWoman Wife are coming home!!!" Reads the post.
Arterburn was injured in the line of duty when he was struck by a vehicle while he was attempting to deploy spike strips.
Since then, he's been moved to rehabilitation centers in Colorado and Texas.