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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 27, 2013, 08:41 PM

A local injured war veteran speaks about life after Afghanistan

Page, ND (WDAY TV) -- We first brought you the story of a local soldier, who's life changed forever after an explosion threw his convoy, severely injuring him and another man.

Page, ND (WDAY TV) -- We first brought you the story of a local soldier, who's life changed forever after an explosion threw his convoy, severely injuring him and another man.

18 months later, Eric Mewes is speaking, on his own two feet, to his hometown in Page, North Dakota.

In the blast, Eric's legs were shattered. But he stood strong right along side his family. Now he's using his pain and his experience to teach others how important this day can be.

Among all the noise.

Melanie Mewes/Eric's Mother: "We come today to honor our fallen dead."

It's the silence which speaks the loudest. And nothing stronger than the testimony....

Eric Mewes/Injured War Veteran: "I was just recently retired."

...From a man, a soldier injured at war.

Mewes/Injured War Veteran: "I've seen soldiers who, they lose their minds all the time, they lose their bodies."

It's been more than a year now.

Mewes/Injured War Veteran: "I'm pretty tough mentally now."

Since a near-death experience sent Mewes home.

Brian Mewes/Eric's Brother: "Shock was the first thing. I kind of sat there for a bit, numb."

Lee Mewes/Eric's Brother: "But we knew he was ok."

Surgery after surgery, and Eric came out OK.

Melanie Mewes/Eric's Mother: "Every where I look around me, there are families that have stories like ours. Or worse."

Even when the doctors said it couldn't happen, it did.

Eric Mewes/Injured war veteran: "Last thing I did with the doctor, I walked with him around the hospital to his office and he couldn't believe it."

Lee Mewes/Eric's Brother: "Eric's one of the strongest people we know. And he did exactly what we expected. Full recovery."

And along with all the triumph, the praise,

The Mewes family is just thankful, for a another day.

Eric Mewes/Injured War Veteran:"Your past is sort of swept away and you move on. Move to something better."

Eric is truly using his bad experience for good. He's teaching all over the area and he says he plans to keep it up.

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