By Kathy Walsh

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A sheriff’s deputy, injured in the Las Vegas shooting, returned home to California for the holidays.

Deputy Jason McMillan has been recovering at Craig Hospital in Englewood. He headed home to Riverside County, California on Wednesday, but he left behind a new, extended family determined to help one of their own.

(credit: CBS)

They showed up in patrol cars and on motorcycles then lined up at the doors of Craig Hospital.

(credit: Douglas County)

It was a show of honor, a special send off for the recovering deputy. McMillan is from Riverside County, Calif. but he found a home away from home in Colorado.

(credit: Douglas County)

“It just felt like I knew everyone, so it felt like just back at home,” McMillan told CBS4’s Karen Morfitt on Dec. 5.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

On Oct. 1, McMillan was shot in the chest when a gunman opened fire at a Las Vegas music festival.

“Just a constant, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’ sound,” he said.

Jason McMillan and Ella (credit: CBS)

The deputy tried to protect others. Fifty-nine people would die, but McMillan’s girlfriend, Ella, managed to save them both.

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“I was just trying to get us out,” she said.

(credit: Douglas County)

McMillan has lost the use of his legs, but gained the help of Colorado brothers in blue. Retired Denver Police Officer John Adsit and Douglas County Sheriff’s Detective Dan Brite were both critically injured on the job. They are raising money to get McMillan an all-terrain wheelchair.

John Adsit (credit: CBS)

“This chair will just be very valuable for him,” said Adsit.

(credit: Douglas County)

Officers here know McMillan’s battle is far from over. While distance will separate them, their actions will assure him he is never far from their thoughts and prayers.

(credit: CBS)

Donations for McMillan’s wheelchair have reached $10,000 but $18,000 is needed. To donate, visit AdsitStrong.org.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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