Fishers couple returns home with harrowing Boston experience
An Indiana couple is safe at home after spending the last few days in Boston.
Brad and Traci Baumgartner were just yards away from the finish line when the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.
"It was actually something that I debated wearing," Brad Baumgartner said of the St. Christopher's medal around his neck.
Brad wore it Monday as he ran in the Boston Marathon. He and his wife Traci traveled there for Brad's first marathon run ever.
Now, Brad won't be taking the medal off ever again.
"When I finished, I just kind of, I remember holding it and thinking, 'Gosh, I'm glad I had it'," he said.
The medal will stay around his neck. Where he goes, it will go.
"I don't anticipate taking it off," said Brad.
Brad said he was just nearing the finish line Monday when the first explosion went off.
"When the second one went off just behind me because I was between the two, I knew something was clearly wrong," Brad recalled. "Several people started to duck and run and that's when both professional service people as well as race volunteers were rushing toward the scene and telling us to exit."
Brad's wife Traci was only 50 yards past the finish line when chaos hit.
"Your heart just kind of stopped for a minute," Traci remembered.
Neither could find each other in the crowd of thousands.
"First in my mind was where she was and that was, for me, that was probably the worst part of the experience," Brad said.
"It was just indescribable. Just that feeling of not knowing where. I just didn't know and so I just stood for a long time," said Traci.
Forty minutes later, the couple was reunited. They got word to their daughters they were safe.
"I was still worried, 'cause I knew they were there, but it wasn't as bad knowing they were safe right away," said 14-year-old Ellie.
The next day, the Baumgartners, once tourists in Boston, saw firsthand, a city on high alert.
"It's a bit unnerving walking around and next to people with fully automatic guns," said Brad.
"You're replaying it in your head and you're wondering, 'Did I see something? Did I see anything? And you're not anticipating that," Traci added.
That's why this couple said they're so thankful to be home as they try to forget images they can't seem to escape.
"You're continuously replaying it in your head and continuously replaying it in your head. It's sort of tough to just concentrate and get back to normal," said Brad.
The Baumgartners said they hope the arrest of the person or person's responsible, will bring some comfort and healing to the victims and their families.