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Wounded warrior to return home
PFC Darryl Wallace moving on with his life after suffering critical war-related injuries

PFC Darryl Wallace is walking again.

It's actually a medical miracle that has left him, family members and friends overjoyed.

The 24-year-old Thomson soldier, who recently was presented the Purple Heart for his bravery during the war in Afghanistan, was critically wounded back in June when the military hummer he was driving struck an improvised explosive device. He lost his right leg from the knee down, along with his left foot.

And now, he's coming home.

It was learned Monday that PFC Wallace is being granted a 30-day leave from the Army hospital in Washington, D.C. this weekend. He and his wife and son will be departing from the nation's capital on Friday and is expected to be back home in McDuffie County sometime Saturday.

Even though PFC Wallace's life has been filled with ups and downs, lows and highs, family members describe him as one of the lucky ones.

They realize that he could have been killed or disabled with a permanent brain injury.

"We all know that Darryl is one of the very fortunate ones to have survived his injuries," said Margaret Higdon, his mother-in-law. "The doctors say he's walking like a pro."

PFC Wallace recently was fitted with artificial limbs and has been undergoing extensive physical rehabilitation the past couple of weeks at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"He's really starting to get the hang of walking again," added Mrs. Higdon. "We're all so happy for him. He's still got a long ways to go, but he's come so far in such a relatively short period of time."

PFC Wallace and his wife, Tiffany and their son, Chase, recently went shopping together for the first time since the mishap.

"They went to a Wal-Mart as a family for the first time since Darryl was brought to Washington," said Mrs. Higdon. "My daughter said they had a great time just being out as a family for the first time in a long time. I think it did all of them a lot of good just to be together."

It wasn't the only place that Mr. and Mrs. Wallace have been of late.

Prior to their shopping trip, the couple received an invitation to have dinner with Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynn, in Washington. The McDuffie County couple gladly accepted.

"They had a real good time there, too," said Mrs. Higdon. "Tiffany said Mr. and Mrs. Cheney treated them so nicely."

PFC Wallace and his wife also got the opportunity to meet country music legend Charlie Daniels, who attended the dinner, too.

A secret service agent, who has befriended PFC Wallace, has invited the soldier and his wife to attend a country music concert sometime soon in Pennsylvania. The concert features Aaron Tippin.

"They haven't decided if they are going to be able to go or not at this time," explained Mrs. Higdon.

The couple has made so many friends since being in Washington, she added.

"Everybody has just treated them so nicely," said Mrs. Higdon. "We could really say that about all of us. Everyone has taken us all in like one big family around here."



Web posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007













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