A local soldier is home for the holidays after being shot in Afghanistan.
"I love the Army. I love my job. I love my guys there," said Spc. Marshall Lane, a U.S. Army Combat Medic for the 549th Military Police Company. "We train the local police how to do patrols and security along side the Afghan Uniform Police."
Lane was deployed in January. The Johnson City native said the first eight months of deployment were rather quiet. "A lot of people thanked us for being there. Some were indifferent. There's a few that really hated us being there," he said.
Lane says the violence increased in August; that's when he was shot in the chest. "As I was being dragged back, I didn't know if I was going to make it or not," he told us.
Being a combat medic, Lane said he quickly put his medical knowledge to use. "I don't remember telling them this, but they [the other soldiers] said I told them how to save my own life," he said.
He was flown to Germany where he was on a special type of life support for more than two weeks. "I was scared that I wasn't going to make it through, but once I made it to Germany I was okay okay I'm going to make it," he said.
Lane was eventually transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center where he met President Obama. He was later awarded the purple heart by the Secretary of the Army. "Tons of people that I don't even know were sending me letters saying they were praying for me and thanked me for serving," he said.
Now Lane faces his next obstacle on the road to recovery. As a complication of his treatment, he's in kidney failure and needs a transplant. Until then, he remains on dialysis three times a week.
On Sunday, he was welcomed back to east Tennessee where he'll spend the next month before going back to Walter Reed.
This Christmas Lane is grateful to be alive and home for the holidays. "How can being home not help? I missed the mountains," he said.
He also said one of the things he missed most while in Afghanistan was food from Pals.
When his company returns from their tour in Afghanistan, he plans on welcoming them home. He also hopes to one day return to active duty.