INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A local soldier and Purple Heart recipient is back home for the holidays.
Sergeant Dustin Johns returned to Independence on Friday. His friends and family surprised him at the VFW Sugar Creek/Independence in the 12800 block of Kentucky.
The 29-year-old enlisted in the Marine Corps after two years of college and got transferred to Afghanistan.
He lost both of his legs last year and suffered extensive burns across the lower portions of his torso after an IED explosion.
"It's been a rough year, but it's good. I'm glad to be in the shape that I am today. I feel lucky -- it could always have been much worse," Johns said.
Johns received the Purple Heart while being treated at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.