Home for the Holidays
Doctors removed portions of both his legs in German and then operated on his left arm and skull in Texas, but even after losing three of his fellow soldiers in the explosion, Mixson said the experience has not changed the way he feels about the U.S. Army and military service.
Coming home for the holidays was a tough decision for Mixson, who said he want to wait until his prosthetic limbs were ready and also for the other soldier wounded in the accident that took his legs.
"I got a buddy in the burn unit over there," he said. "He's been there going on four months. It was hard to leave him and his family."
According to Karon Mixson, after seeing her son's fellow soldiers visit him in the hospital, she understands why it was hard for Mixson to leave.
"They're big, strong Army guys, but they have really, really big hearts and a lot of love for each other," she explained.
The 1st Infantry Division soldier said that is part of the reason, even after all he has been through, he still believes in an all volunteer military force.
"It's something I wanted to do all my life and I don't regret it one bit at all," he said.
Even though his mother said she would not be willing to let him do it a second time, she does not think she would be able to stop him.
"I would not let him go," she emphasized. "I think he wanted to go, and he would probably go again."
In the end however, it was easy to convince Mixson to come home for the holidays.
"I'm not going to lie, there's a woman involved," he said laughing.
And that is a reason good enough for his mother:
"She's studying to be a nurse, and we're really happy about that because she's going to take really good care of him."
Four Alachua County Sheriff's deputies -- with the help of Gainesville Police officers -- escorted the Williston-native to the county line. From there, three Levy County deputies and Sheriff Johnny Smith took him the rest of the way home.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB, TV20 News.
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