"And the first thing I did with a notebook, because I couldn't talk because I had a trachea in, and left-handed because this hand was really messed up, I wrote 'Call Mom' and the number."
- Marine Sgt Dustin Stroble about the first thing he did upon waking up from surgery in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Stroble talks about getting injured on November 8, 2010 during his third deployment since becoming a Marine in 2005.
"I was thinking here we go another day whatever, not a big deal and I was reaching up to turn something on my rifle and just like that I had gotten up hit. And I sat up screaming," Stroble said about the incident. "Initially, I thought I was going to die because I knew I'd gotten messed up, I'd gotten shot in the face, there was blood pouring out of my face and blood coming out of my shoulder."
Fellow Marines quickly took action to bring him down from a lookout point and onto a waiting helicopter. He was flown to a nearby camp for immediate surgery.
Then was transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where his mother, Jeri Domson from Billings, got to see him for the first time.
"I started crying, it was overwhelming. You know, that's your baby laying there," said Domson about the extent of her son's injuries. "To hear he'd been shot at in the face, in the neck and in the shoulder, you don't know what you're going to see. "
Stroble has been back at home since December, but his heart is still with his fellow marines.
"You know they saved my life, there's no doubt about it," Stroble says full of emotion. "They're still over there and that tears me up because they're still over fighting and I was here having Christmas dinner."
And he urges fellow Americans to remember the harsh realities of war and those that are fighting for our freedoms.
"The guys outside the wire are risking it everyday. Just don't forget about them," Stroble said.
You can watch the TV interview with Sgt. Stroble here.