Motorcycle riders from American Legion Post 392 escorted Corporal Travis Evans down Highway 231 and into town.
Many stood proudly displaying colors that represent the sweat blood and sacrifice that many pay to keep our country free. A debt that some tried to repay Saturday, as a decorated soldier was welcomed home.
"It's just a real honor," said Corporal Travis Evans.
Evans was awarded the Purple Heart after sustaining injuries during his second tour in Afghanistan. The American Legion in Panama City escorted Evans and his father Michael home to Panama City in a thunderous parade of more than seventy riders.
"I came home from my deployment in Afghanistan and my dad had this planned out and I didn't even know," said Evans. "I had no idea that it was going to be that big of a crowd."
A crowd that he says isn't for him, but for his fellow Marines who never made it home.
"It's really respectful especially for the Marines that lost their lives over there," said Evans. "It's in honor of them. Not just me coming home, but those who didn't make it and never made it home. I'm always thinking about them. They will never be forgotten. Never."
"To have that many people out supporting veterans and supporting people coming home like this I couldn't ask for anything more," said Michael Evans.
The corporals father admits that this kind of ceremony hasn't always taken place for heroes returning home in past wars.
"Well not just to honor my son, who won the Purple Heart getting injured at war," said Michael. "I think we need to honor all vets like this."
But the days surprises kept rolling in.
"I want to present you a key to the city of Panama City," said Mayor Brudnicki after presenting Evans with the cities gift so that the city, just like the country, is in good hands.
Evans says he in constantly thinking of the twenty seven in his company that paid the ultimate sacrifice during his two combined tours in Afghanistan.