RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Months after almost losing his life in the line of duty, Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Ronald Waller made his first public appearance Saturday.

Waller was greeted by a large crowd and given a warm welcome at the Wake County Sheriff’s Office 1st Annual Community Day at Robert’s Park.

“Ayy Sarge, you look great!” one person yelled as Waller approached the crowd.

Waller, a 20-year veteran of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, was shot at close range with an AK-47 while serving an eviction notice to Eddie Craig at the River Birch Apartments in Raleigh on June 2.

He was hit once in his hip area and once in his leg. Craig was arrested and charged. Waller spent more than a month in the hospital.

With his wife and son by his side, Waller spoke to the crowd Saturday.

”I want to thank Sheriff Baker who’s supported me, showed up at the hospital, every week at all times of night. I wake up, look up, he’s sitting there in my room. Hahaha,” Waller said.

Since being released, Waller has been at home recovering from multiple surgeries on his leg. When the bullet pierced through his leg, Waller said he lost a lot of bone and now wears a specialized brace to lengthen it.

When asked what has helped get him through these trying times, without hesitation, Waller immediately spoke of his wife, Kimberly.

Waller tells CBS 17 he’s incredibly grateful for the community’s support and has even received books and get-well cards from people across the country. He added that a few of his fellow deputies have told him some of people they served eviction notices to asked how he was doing.

“I want to thank all of the members of the sheriff’s office who supported me,” he said. “Your emails and phone calls.”

With a long road ahead, the non-profit Running 4 Heroes presented Waller with a $10,000 check to support his recovery.

“Deputy Richard Palmer, who is a member of this organization, he’s the one who submitted my name for this. Thank you brother, I appreciate it, man,” Waller said.

Doctors told Waller he will have to keep the specialized brace on his leg for possibly a year. Once he can walk without it, Waller tells CBS 17 he hopes to put on his uniform and get back to work before he retires next September.

“Hopefully I can recover from this — I’m sure I will,” Waller said.

When someone in the crowd reassured him he will, Waller smiled and said, “Thank you, thank you.”

Craig is charged with multiple felonies and is being held on a $4 million bond awaiting his next court date.