A Lubbock solider is home with his family just in time for Christmas. It's not uncommon for a solider to return home for the holiday season, but this Marine's story is anything but ordinary.
Anthony Villareal, 22, joined the Marines after graduating from Coronado High School. "I always wanted to be a Marine. People would say it's too hard, but I like to show them it's easy," said Villareal.
But six months ago Villareal found himself facing one of the toughest challenges of his life while serving in Afganistan. "Just got hit by a road side bomb when we were driving," said Villareal.
The blast from the roadside bomb caused Villareal to lose half his right arm, fingers on his left hand, and his face was severely burned.
But one thing the explosion didn't take was his strength. "I'm just glad that I'm alive and that I'm here," said Villareal.
His family is also glad that he is alive. "The last time we saw him he left here he told his grandmother that he was going to be back, he didn't say how, but I'm glad he is back," said Villareal's grandfather, Diego Rodriguez.
Today Villareal is getting a break from the intense physical therapy he is undergoing in San Antonio. "Walking when I first woke up that was really hard for me," said Villareal.
He is back in Lubbock spending the holidays with his family, something he wasn't sure he'd be able to do. "I really didn't think that I was going to be here. I really didn't want to spend Christmas and New Year's in the hospital so at least I can come home and spend it with my family," said Villareal.
Villareal says once he is finished with the physical therapy, he hopes to return to Lubbock for good and open a restaurant with his father and maybe eventually return back to the Marines.
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