Neighbors in Mobile were seen standing outside their homes, others in lawn chairs waving American flags. That's probably not how you'd greet your mailman, but to these neighbors at Riviere Du Chien Estates, Victor Birch is worth it.
"He takes care of us," said Belinda Rooney. "He takes care of our mail, and that's a very important thing. So we love him."
"He does little things like bringing the mail to the door when it's raining," said Bud Wyllie.
Victor Birch has delivered mail to that community for over fifteen years, getting to know almost everyone in the process; even city officials.
"Everybody knows him by Victor," said Mobile City Council Member John Williams. "And when he shows up at your door, he's always happy to see you, always asks about your family."
After months of training, Birch traveled to Boston to compete in the marathon. He finished the race less than an hour before the bombs exploded and changed everything. Most of the neighbors had no idea he was a runner, until they saw him on the national news.
"I had no idea," said Bud Wyllie. "I didn't find out until he had run the marathon and the bombing happened, and then his substitute told me that he was up there running the marathon."
"At that point it became very personal," said David Rooney. "We had somebody that was part of our community that was involved in the bombings and in the marathon. And at that point we began to see it in quite a different way."
Back in Alabama, neighbors were so grateful to hear Victor was unharmed, they wanted to be there to welcome him home and back to work. They met him outside their homes with hugs and cheers.
"I don't know what to say, I really don't," said Victor Birch, overcome with emotion. "I'm glad to be home, I really am."
Over 150 Boston Strong ribbons were displayed on all the mailboxes in the community, to show respect for the fallen and celebrate a friend's safe return.