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South Georgia soldier still recovering

January 10, 2006

Albany--  No one understands the war like those who have fought it. More than 3,000 US troops have died in Iraq with thousands more injured.   Last year, we introduced you to one South Georgia soldier who is still recovering from serious wounds he suffered in Iraq. He'll be watching closely as 20,000 more servicemen and women get sent into a continuing war.

This past year and a half has been a learning experience. "Learning to walk all over again," said Eady.

Last year, then Staff Sergeant Clarence Eady made his way around in a wheelchair.  He was home for a short time from the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C.

"I was in an IED explosion in Baghdad and I lost my left leg below the knee and my right leg was severely burned and had fractures in it," said Eady.

It hasn't been easy adjusting. "I thought the physical pain part was hard but now I'm seeing the mental is just as hard," said Eady. Although hard, things are getting better everyday.   Things are now moving and changing. Eady is now home again for a few weeks and it's much different than before.

"I was thinking I was going to have to use my wheelchair but I got here and haven't used it since I've been here," said Eady.

"Each time he does something, it's like graduation day to me," said wife Kay Eady.

The Eady family is taking it day by day. Today, this soldier reminisces about the day President Bush came to visit him at Walter Reed.  He has several pictures.

"We chit-chatted and talked about fishing and weather," said Eady. The topic now is war and Bush's announcement that 21,000 more troops will be sent to Iraq.

"Do we have the troops to do it? That's the next big question," said Eady. Eady questions if more troops should be shipped out at this time.

"I believe there's probably enough troops probably already there. If they were going to be able to control that situation there, they would be able to do it now but more troops, I don't think it's a good idea," said Eady.

He says we're in a tough situation though and he stands by the commander-in-chief's decision. But right now, he's not sure when that war on terror would end.

"I don't think it'll be anytime soon," said Eady. Just like the war, Eady's recovery continues.

"I know it's going to take time. It's not going to happen overnight so, just got to be patient," said Eady. Patience has paid off so far.  He went from a bed to a wheelchair to two canes and now he's down to one.

Another thing changed in recent weeks also.  Eady is now Sergeant First Class Eady. "Came a long ways," said Eady.

He has a ways to go but he's not looking back.  He's only moving forward.

Eady will head back to Walter Reed in Washington this weekend for more rehab. He hopes to be home for good in a couple of months.



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