It’s been nearly a year since James Sanders has been able to hug his son, Tim.
Sanders said he’s been counting down the days until they’re reunited.
“It’s a huge sacrifice,” he said. “I mean, we miss our son and we’re glad to have him back.”
Tim was just 19 years old, fresh out of high school, when he left his hometown of Choudrant to put his life on the line, serving and protecting our country as a paratrooper.
“It’s been 7 years since Tim joined the military. We’ve lost a lot of young men who’ve served with him and a lot of them have lost their legs and their arms and Tim will be walking for them,” Sanders added.
After several deployments, serving in Afghanistan and most recently Italy, Tim was welcomed home with opened arms.
Nearly twenty family members and friends waited anxiously at the Monroe Regional Airport for his arrival.
While Tim was a little shy, his service and dozens of medals, including a Purple Heart, speak volumes.
His father said he helped save a priest, who stepped on an IED.
“Tim took shrapnel to his face and was knocked unconscious, but regained it, took care of his buddy, wrapped him up, stabilized him and carried him back out,” his father said.
Now Tim is planning on taking his next command.
“He’s served his country, now it’s time for him to be a father,” Sanders said.
Tim and his wife are expecting their first child, a baby boy, in March.
But first, Tim and his family had to enjoy his favorite hometown dinner.
“First thing he wants to do is we’re gonna leave here and go to Warren Drive and eat Johnny’s Pizza,” his dad said, chuckling.