An Army infantry soldier from Rock Hill will get to come home seven months early but not the way his family had hoped.
"It's not the homecoming we imagined, but he's coming home alive to us," Deanna Millwood said.
Her husband, Michael Millwood, was shot in the upper leg on May 23 in Afghanistan. Millwood is a combat engineer with the Army's Third Infantry. His job is to clear roads for travel, and that means looking for roadside bombs, often on foot.
Deanna Millwood got a call last Thursday that she had long dreaded.
"I was just so sure that was going to be the call where they told me I was never going to see my husband again," she said.
The Army told her Michael Millwood had been shot while on a mission. They had encountered enemy fire, and he was hit in the leg. The bullet snapped his femur and severed a major nerve. He's since had five surgeries so far, and is in a hospital in Germany.
Channel 9 was with Deanna Millwood on Wednesday when she saw her husband via Skype for the first time since he was shot.
"I've seen pictures of him and stuff, but just seeing his face when I'm talking to him is amazing," she said.
The pictures, now on Facebook, show Michael Millwood giving the camera two thumbs up with a smile on his face.
Michael Millwood left in March for a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. He wasn't expected home until Christmas.
He also served in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, where he earned several medals.
The couple has a 4-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
Michael Millwood is expected to be flown from Germany to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland on Friday. Deanna Millwood will be there to meet him. She said that she couldn't deal with the separation from her husband without the friendship of other Army wives.
"We stick together, the wives, and we help each other through everything," she said. "It's pretty scary though. It's not very easy."
It's not known when Michael Millwood will be allowed to come home to Rock Hill. Doctors at Walter Reed must evaluate him first.
His wife said he's keeping a positive attitude about his injury.
"He's mad because he wants to be back with his guys in Afghanistan. He hates that he's not there with them," she said.