YUMA, AZ - Marines are a rare breed. They're trained to be prepared for anything. Today, one marine was caught off guard by a loving congregation.
"It was a surprise. I was not expecting all of this. The pastor told me to wear my uniform. I thought he just wanted some other people to see me," said Chief Warrant Officer Heriberto Sanchez. He was honored by the Foothills Assembly of God.
Sanchez just returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. His congregation surprised him with an award, presented by the Honorable Federal Magistrate Judge James Metcalf.
The award recognizes his dedicated service to God and country.
Chief Warrant Officer Sanchez is also a family man. He has a wife of 17 years, a 16 year old son, a 12 year old daughter and a 4 year old daughter.
The church treated the Sanchez family to a sit-down afternoon dinner after the service.
When asked what he looked forward to most while he was home, Sanchez didn't hesitate.
"Being with the family, definitely. After 7 months of not being able to hold them, smell them, being with them, talking with them face to face," said Sanchez.
Sanchez is an air traffic control maintenance officer, responsible for the safety of military aircraft. The 14 year career marine humbly credits his successes in life to his faith in a higher power.
"There's no way I could do what I do without the Lord. I put everything in the Lord's hands. He's gotten me promoted, he's gotten me where I've gone. He's keeping me safe, and my faith is one of the priorities in my life … and I know I'm where I'm at right now is because the Lord has allowed it to happen," explains Sanchez.
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Yuma, AZ- "It's a lot of heart ache and a lot of grieving," said Joseph Montaldo. Joseph says the death of his younger brother angel has been very difficult for him and his family. "My brother wasMore >>
Yuma, AZ- "It's a lot of heart ache and a lot of grieving," said Joseph Montaldo.More >>
EL CENTRO, Calif. (13 On Your Side) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent from the El Centro sector died at a Hawaiian waterfall during a family vacation while trying to save a woman from drowning. Customs andMore >>
A Border Patrol agent from El Centro died while trying to save a woman from drowning while on a family vacation in Hawaii.More >>
An earthquake in far northeastern California was felt by thousands of people as far away as San Francisco and in two other states, but there have been no reports of injury or serious damage.More >>
Residents in rural northeastern California assessed damage to their homes and businesses Friday from a magnitude-5.7 earthquake, one of the strongest temblors to hit the densely forested region in decades.More >>
Yuma, AZ- "I don't think the punishment fits the crime," Said Yuma Mayor Al Krieger. He is outraged that a judge sentenced former city employee Hector Valenzuela to only 5 years of supervised probationMore >>
Yuma Mayor Al Krieger is outraged that a judge sentenced former city employee Hector Valenzuela to only 5 years of supervised probation and no jail time.More >>
SEBASTIAN, Fla. (CBS/AP) - Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old Florida high school student charged over a same-sex relationship with an underage classmate, refused to accept a plea deal Friday, CBS affiliateMore >>
Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old Florida high school student charged over a same-sex relationship with an underage classmate, refused to accept a plea deal Friday, CBS affiliate WPEC reports.More >>
(HUFFINGTON POST) - A Utah mother decided to use thrift store clothes to teach a lesson to her daughter, who had been relentlessly bullying another student because of how she dressed. Ally, whose lastMore >>
A Utah mother decided to use thrift store clothes to teach a lesson to her daughter, who had been relentlessly bullying another student because of how she dressed.More >>
PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix jury is on its second day of deliberations in the trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of murdering her 1-time boyfriend in Arizona. Jurors took a lunch break at noon Monday afterMore >>
A Phoenix jury is on its second day of deliberations in the trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of murdering her 1-time boyfriend in Arizona.More >>
EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Gold Cross paramedics in Imperial County will not go on strike tomorrow - as planned. The company finally agreed to meet with the union - avoiding dozens of paramedicsMore >>
Gold Cross paramedics in Imperial County will not go on strike tomorrow - as planned.More >>