CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Lowcountry soldier's homecoming is filled with hugs from loved ones and cheers from complete strangers.
Army soldier Sgt. Darius Johnson was deployed to Afghanistan in April, but now he's back home in Saint George after nearly losing his life.
Family and friends waited anxiously for their hero to appear at the airport gates.
"I'm very thankful to have him here. I'm glad that he's alive and can rehabilitate and get his life back in order," cousin Latanya Cusack said.
Sgt. Johnson was working to keep peace in Afghanistan. US troops and allies have been in the volatile country for the past ten years, as radical Islamics and Taliban leaders have caused conflict.
"It feels great. I have a bigger appreciation for life after almost losing it. Just glad to be home," Sgt. Johnson said.
Back in July, he and three fellow service members fell victim to a roadside bomb. It injured his head, jaw, and he lost his left arm. Two of his friends gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives.
US Senator Lindsey Graham took a moment to greet the soldier, talk about the experience, and congratulate him on his engagement to Cherise Adkins.
"A guy like that who's willing to leave his family, going to get married in August, lost an arm in the service of his country it makes me want to go back to Washington and do better," Sen. Graham said.
Sgt. Johnson says he looks forward to spending some time at home relaxing.
"Visiting family and friends, checking out barbecues, that's about it," Sgt. Johnson said.
Sgt. Johnson currently lives in Washington DC. After the near death accident, Sgt. Johnson has months of rehabilitation ahead, and soon he will be fitted for a prosthetic arm.
He was awarded the Purple Heart in September, which is given to members of the armed forces who are injured during war.