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Published May 20, 2013, 05:12 PM

Local rancher donates gun for the "Wounded Warrior" project

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A few weeks ago, we told you about a North Dakota rancher who was planning to donate a "family gun" to a U.S. soldier in Colorado left paralyzed after serving in Iraq. Part of a "Wounded Warrior" project.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A few weeks ago, we told you about a North Dakota rancher who was planning to donate a "family gun" to a U.S. soldier in Colorado left paralyzed after serving in Iraq. Part of a "Wounded Warrior" project.

Kulm rancher, Ed Melroe, read about the soldier in an article featured in "Beef Magazine." Sgt. Matt Keil, despite his paralysis, still wants to hunt, and said he would love a shotgun.

Melroe read the story and decided to donate a gun that his father gave him.

But the story took a fascinating turn after Melroe learned his nephew David McMahon, who also was in Iraq, served with Sgt. Keil. Melroe and McMahon drove to Colorado and recently gave Keil the family shotgun.

It was an emotional reunion between the two young veterans, and Melroe says there was more to the trip than just the donation of a shotgun.

Ed Melroe who donated the shotgun says, "the one thing that happened is when david and matt started talking, both opened up about what happened and where they had been and it was a real healing process matt and my nephew."

Sgt. Kiel was awarded 2 bronze stars, 2 purple hearts and several other medals for his service.

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