Not every plane arrival calls for cheering and clapping. This one however, not only calls for some shouting, but for hugs and warm embraces. 71-year-old William Hatcher of Meridian, made it home after surviving the Haiti Earthquake, one of the most devastating in history. He was there on a mission trip and claims he survived because he did whatever needed to be done. That includes sleeping in the U.S. embassy.
"When I say slept there, we slept in the reception hall with all of the windows, where you fill out your papers. So that is where we slept in the chairs or out in the yard," explains William Hatcher.
Chairs or grass, that didn't matter for Hatcher. He just wanted to get back to his family and says he was able to thanks to the hard work of U.S. Embassy staff.
"The United States Embassy did a remarkable job in Haiti."
After staying in the embassy, Hatcher and a large group of people were flown to the Dominican Republic. That's where they found supplies.
"Candies, gum, crackers, knick-knacks of all types. And then there were clothes because some of the people had lost all of their clothes," says Hatcher.
More importantly, that's where they found a clinic.
"They had a hospital set up there. Not a hospital, but a clinic."
Hatcher says he was most impressed with how smoothly things operated for him and the group of people he was with.
"It's just unbelievable," expresses Hatcher.
What's even more unbelievable are the stories Hatcher has lived to tell. As he told his granddaughter Sarah over the phone, he now has even more stories to talk about.
"I've got stories!"