SACRAMENTO, CA - A Marine from Placer County, injured while serving in Afghanistan, got a hero's welcome home on Monday night at the Sacramento International Airport.
Family, friends and Patriot Guard riders, from as far away as Paso Robles, gathered to greet their hero.
"It feels amazing to have all these family and friends around here supporting me and my family and I'm just astonished right now," Marine Lance Cpl. Marcus Haney said.
Haney was deployed to Sangin Valley, Afghanistan in March, three weeks later his son Hunter was born.
"Not to be able to experience the things that new fathers should be experiencing was really, really tough," the Marine's mother Stacey Haney said.
However, the toughest challenge for this family was yet to come. While in Afghanistan, the 24-year-old was shot in the leg during a mission.
"He heard this 'pop' and he thought maybe the mine roller had backfired and he said to his Sergeant 'What was that?' and the Sergeant replied 'Dude, you've been shot,'" Stacey Haney said.
Haney arrived at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego five days after he was wounded. At the hospital, he got to hold his son for the first time.
"It was amazing to see Marcus holding Hunter for the first time. I had anticipated it for so many months," Stacey Haney said.
Haney's arrival at the Sacramento airport on Monday night was his first time home since deployment.
Stacey Haney recalled the day her son left his military base at Twentynine Palms for deployment.
"We said our last goodbyes and then the buses rolled on, it was about seven or eight buses that came along and the guys loaded up and we all gave our last hugs to all the guys and said we'll see you soon. Keep your head on a swivel and we love you," Haney said.
When Haney returns home to Roseville, he'll also get to see his son's nursery for the first time. His wife, Lauren, put it together while he was away.
"What I've seen is a couple of young people coming together to take care of each other in a way that you would hope that young people would in a time of hardship; they've been side-by-side," said Stacey Haney.
Haney will be home for a week then will return to the Naval hospital for approximately nine months. He is now able to walk with the aid of a cane.