Hanford Marine lays wreath next to President Bush's casket in Washington D.C.
HANFORD, Calif. (FOX26) -- Marine Gunnery Sergeant Sergio Hernandez of Hanford placed one of three wreaths next to President George H.W. Bush's casket Monday in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.
From 2,800 miles away, the sergeant's wife, Veronica Hernandez, watched with family in Hanford.
"Oh, there he is, right there. There's Daddy." Hernandez invited FOX26 News to witness the moment.
As she and the nation watched Sgt. Hernandez take three steps backwards before placing the wreath, she was excited, proud and teary eyed.
"I just love him so much and I'm proud of all the hard work that he's put in over 16, almost 17 years, and I know this is a very big moment in his life and in her career as a Marine."
In those 16 plus years, Sgt. Hernandez has made four combat tours to the Middle East, three to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.
Two years ago after numerous background checks, Sgt. Hernandez was assigned to the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C. to lead ceremonial events.
His mother, Petra Manzo, was so proud to see her son on television.
"I want to scream. Happiness and crying. I feel proud."
Sgt. Hernandez's son and daughter were excited too.
Hernandez is a 2001 graduate of Hanford High West.
"Don't ever think that where you're from puts limitations on where you can go in life because if you have a dream it doesn't matter where you're from. You can go wherever you want in this world."
Between now and Wednesday, Sgt. Hernandez will also stand guard next to the President's casket in the nation's capital.