Monday, July 28, 2014

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Former Drum soldiers take in inauguration

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Former Drum soldiers take in inauguration
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Buried in the sea of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall Monday were four special guests of Senator Harry Reid. They were soldiers of Fort Drum who are now at Walter Reed Medical Center recovering from battle injuries. As our Brian Dwyer reports, the soldiers took full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the President's words rang through the National Mall Monday, four sets of eyes and ears joined about 700,000 others in doing their best to take in every single moment.

"Seeing masses of people coming together," Spc. Jacob Owens said. "All unified for one cause, it was just a great experience just watching that alone."

"If you looked behind us, there had to be tens of thousands of people just all in a row just standing, waving American Flags," Capt. Jake Murphy added. "I couldn't even see the end of the crowd, it was amazing."

These four soldiers, now spend their days in D.C. at Walter Reed recovering from major battle injuries. They say seeing the support, the thousands of American flags in the air, was a real eye opener.

"It just makes you appreciate what you've done. You don't feel like people have taken what happened to me and other guys at Walter Reed and other injured guys and guys that have died, for granted," Murphy said.

A special moment for the group, realizing the men in front of them gave the same: Several members of the Tuskegee Airmen.

"They were so humble enough to shake our hands and smile at us and introduce themselves." Owens said. "It was just a great experience."

A highlight only surpassed by the president himself. They say being there, seeing him and hearing him speak, the message, unity and progress, something that gives these guys hope.

"Everybody doing their part," Owens said. "Bringing our nation, keep taking it one step at a time. Making our nation just a better place."

"It really made me feel good," Murphy added. "Things are happening and will continue to happen for the next few years."

Both Owens and Murphy are hoping to be released from Walter Reed soon.

Owens wants to return to active duty. Murphy is set to retire and is getting married in the spring.

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