A marine who survived not one, but two roadside bomb explosions in Afghanistan is back home. Staff Sergeant Charles Boyce flew into Meadows Field Friday night.
He was greeted by veterans and other members of his unit based in Bakersfield.
Boyce was not expecting the warm welcome from members of his Bakersfield Unit, the Detachment 2 Bulk Fuel Company.
"It's usually pretty quiet when I get back from deployments, but this is definitely nice to see some people," Boyce told the crowd who met him.
Boyce volunteered to be deployed and has spent the last seven months in Afghanistan. It was there, a convoy of vehicles he was in hit an IED. As the marines were checking themselves out, making sure they were alright, another blast went off. Something hit Boyce in the head and he suffered a grade three concussion. It's something Boyce doesn't want to talk about. But, he knows, because of his bravery he's to receive a Purple Heart.
"It's an honor, I guess. I was just doing my job, though. I was just doing what any other marine does. I'm just fortunate enough to come out of it pretty much altogether, whole, in one piece. So, I'm grateful for that," said Boyce.
Boyce's Commanding Officer, Capt. Eric Frey, is also grateful another member of his unit is out of harm's way.
"I'm just really happy of how he represented the unit, the Marine Corps and Bakersfield," said Frey.
As a show of that gratitude, Boyce was presented with a handmade quilt from the New Beginnings Church and the veterans in Bakersfield.
Boyce wasted no time opening it up and seeing each hand-stitched panel, welcoming him back safe and sound in Bakersfield.
"It's good to be home," said Boyce.
Staff Sergeant Boyce left Bakersfield to see his family who lives in Los Angeles. He will report back to his unit next week and his unit will present him with his Purple Heart on March 4th.