It's been nearly a year and a half since Nebraska State Patrolman Jeff Van Stelton received serious injuries from a head on collision while on duty.
Injuries to his pelvis, legs and an arm left him in critical condition at the time.
Though Van Stelton has been back to work since early November, due to the efforts of his wife, local serviceman and their vehicles, as well as colleagues from his district lined the parking lot near his home in a surprise welcome back ceremony.
"We just kind of put our heads together and said this would be a great idea to do a welcome back and to get things back to normal and we kind of got it planned last minute this last week," said wife Lindsey. "He thought a group picture was just going to be taken, not with the state patrol, but with the other cops and sheriffs, so it worked out great."
Though there were some minor setbacks, and the road to recovery wasn't easy, Van Stelton says the support of his fellow serviceman, community and family has helped tremendously.
"Everybody's been really great. Everyone from the medical staff, the hospitals, physical therapists, the other state troopers, the law enforcement in the area and the fire department was all supportive. The town of McCook, they did a couple benefits; Runza had a day where they had a benefit for me," said Jeff.
His state patrol vehicle from the crash, which is barely recognizable due to fire damage from the crash, remains nearby and has been used as a public reminder for safety, and that seat belts do save lives.