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Injured Local Soldier Gets Hero’s Welcome Home At Sacramento Airport

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local soldier is home after losing both his legs in Afghanistan.

A large crowd of his friends, family and veterans greeted him at Sacramento International Airport Wednesday evening.

This will be the first time Doug Harrris’ friends and family will see him since his accident. He lost part of his legs and has learned to walk all over again on prosthetics.

“I’m just glad to have him home,” Doug’s father Charles Harris said. “This has been a little overwhelming.”

The homecoming for Army specialist Doug was an especially emotional one for his father.

“This is my hunting buddy, my friend,” said Charles.

It’s been five months since Charles and wife, Lisa, got the call that their son lost his legs from the knees down.

“That phone call was one of the worst calls I think I’ve ever taken,” said Lisa.

It’s a call, Lisa says, that plays over and over in her head, everyday.

“He remembers being on patrol,” said Lisa.”

Their 22-year-old son had been in Afghanistan for just a few months.

“He remembers stepping on an IED,” said Lisa.

Wounded but alive, the fight for freedom turned into a fight to survive.

“From that point, the two boys were helping each and neither of the boys realized how injured they were,” said Lisa.

Since then, Doug has been recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and waiting and wanting to come back home.

“It was a little overwhelming, but it means a lot. It means a lot that there’s so many people standing behind me,” said Doug. “You know, push me, keeping me going; t’s really motivating.”

“To see him come home is just awesome, awesome,” said friend Johnny Dagostini.

Those who know him say it’s this soldier’s positive attitude that’s kept him going. Nothing, he says, will ever stop him.

“From day one, I just knew, ‘just hey keep going. What happened, happened,’ you know, ‘just keep pushing forward,’ said Doug.

“We’ve been out fishing. He’s been out hunting on them. It’s not slowing him down at all,” said Charles.

His mom says she just wants her son to be a kid while he’s home.

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