CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A hometown hero reflects on the meaning behind Memorial Day. Private First Class Corey Kent was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan last year. Almost a year later, he's still recovering at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC.
Memorial Day isn't just a day off for Pfc. Corey Kent.
"I think being in the military and being injured really makes it hit a lot closer to home," Kent told WINK News on Monday.
The Mariner High grad is re-learning how to walk, after losing both limbs during an explosion in Afghanistan. But his road to recovery is a little smoother since our last talk in January.
"It's gotten easier. At that point I had just started walking with my prosthetics. Now, it's kinda leveled off. I've gotten a knee joint on my legs, so that definitely makes walking a lot easier," Kent said.
Kent's still recovering at Walter Reed Hospital, alongside family. While they spent the day relaxing, the meaning behind the holiday resonates much clearer this year.
"When I was younger, it was a day off. That's what a lot of people look at it as," Kent's stepfather, Dan Ashby said on Monday.
But this Memorial Day, Corey Kent isn't asking for much...just a poignant pause to reflect on what the day's all about.
"They don't have to go out of their way to physically thank a service member because most of us, that's not what we do it for. I think as long as they just silently, take a second to think about it, about what we go through on a day to day basis, that's more than enough for me," Kent said.
On Tuesday, Corey's attending a Washington Nationals game, honoring soldiers. His family's also working on planning a trip home for him sometime this summer.