Wounded soldier returns to valley to rebuild life

FRESNO, Calif.

On the list of military achievements most soldiers do not aspire for a Purple Heart, well that's what 25-year-old K.C. Mitchell received after surviving that I.E.D. blast.

Now he's home on a 30 day leave planning for the rest of his life.

K.C. Mitchell and his fiancé Malori Williamson are recently engaged, and they have a 5-month-old daughter, Skyree.

Like most couples they want to face life's uncertainties together. "As soon as we were together we kind of just knew we were going to be together honestly," said Mitchell.

They'll need that devotion.

Mitchell has spent the last 3-months at Walter Reed Military hospital recovering from an improvised explosive device that detonated under his Humvee in Maiwand, Afghanistan the day before Easter.

Besides several shrapnel wounds he still has yet to walk and stand.

"Because the I.E.D. was so big it tipped my Stryker over sideways and they pulled me out the back hatch and once I got on the ground the doc went to work on me. He actually saved my life from what the doctors said," Mitchell said.

"I knew it was bad. But when I showed up to Walter Reed it was a lot worse than I thought it was. Right now when you see him and he looks great. You cannot imagine what he looked like three months ago," Williamson said.

Spirits are high and that's a good thing right now. Mitchell, who grew up in Exeter is spending his visit home in Visalia with his future wife's family.

"I want to try to stay on active duty right now. The med board is kind of tough." Mitchell has only been home one day.

He received a hero's welcome at Fresno Yosemite International Airport and already is thinking of returning to the army in some capacity.

"He goes over and above what he's supposed to do rather than just being out there and doing what he has to do to get by," Williamson said.

Doctors gave Mitchell a month to regain the use of his legs, if not he may have to have his left leg amputated.

While he works to get healthier he is planning the finishing touches on his wedding which is appropriately on July 4.

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