A Respite From the Rehab

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You've heard the stories of heroism, bravery, and in the end, survival.

"When I first got injured, I had burns all over my body, and also internal injuries, said Sgt. Gabe Garriga. "They gave me only a one percent chance of living."

But with help from doctors at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, this handful of members of the armed forces have lived to tell their tales. And Saturday, they were honored with a respite from the rehab, and a trip to College Station. Their first stop: the Bush Library.

"Very rarely do we have the opportunity to actually play together and be out together, and this gives us that opportunity," said MA2 Nicolette Leigon. "And I can't even speak on how much it helps."

"The community is behind us even though they don't even know us," said Sfc. Alan Hornaday. "It makes you feel good that you went and you did what you had to do."

Undoubtedly it's coincidental, yet all too appropriate that these soldiers came to the library of George Bush, a man who saw major combat and faced the realities of war when his plane was shot down in World War II.

"It's great to have this opportunity to be here and learn about history in a more personal manner, which I've never personally had that chance to before," said Leigon. "And also to be around the cadets."

The A&M Corps acted as the escorts for the troops and their families, from the library, then over to Reed Arena for the Aggie basketball game, and on to C&J's Barbecue for a complimentary meal.

"It really gives us an eye-opener from the Gis, seeing the realities of war," said Cadet Christopher Meyer.

You can see it in the hands and their eyes, and hear it in their voices: the realities of war and of caring.

"It's nice when you get out that people are willing to take time to set things up like this for you and doing different things," said Garriga. "It's good for morale."

And morale was most certainly high in College Station Saturday.