Wounded soldiers get early Christmas

December 3, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
New York firefighters delivered presents to wounded soldiers at Fort Bragg Thursday - handing out MP3 players, some laptop computers, and care packages.It's the second year the New York firefighters' Operation Wounded Warrior program has visited the base. The program will also deliver gifts and packages this month to Camp Lejeune and two military hospitals in Washington, D.C.

"It's awesome. You know it's real nice because sometimes you go places and people scoff at you and sometimes people pat you on the back. And it's real nice to get patted on the back every once in a while," said wounded soldier Jeremiah Church.

More than 800 soldiers recovering at Bragg got gifts.

"I was wounded in a complex ambush. Didn't have any time to kind of get away, so I put a tourniquet on myself, got back in the torrent and knocked out a bunch of rounds," said Church.

Others simply got sick on missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I went to the chow hall to eat and I obviously caught some kind of bug. And they didn't know what it was," said Wanda Craigshead.

The gifts were collected by fire departments and then driven to Bragg. Volunteers like former Fire Chief Ken Fairben say they're glad to do it. His 24-year-old son Keith died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

"Keith was a Paramedic. The way I got involved with wounded warriors is because I want to remember Keith and I know he would want this also," explained Fairben.

The soldiers say the firefighters made a big impression on a group that doesn't want to be forgotten.


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