Published by WNYT.com

When terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, a generation of soldiers was born.

“I joined because it was the right thing to do,” said Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris.

Like thousands of others, that call of duty took Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris to the deserts of Iraq. In 2007 he was on his second deployment when an IED obliterated his Humvee, killing three of his close friends.

Harris was knocked unconscious and when he woke up, he had no idea how badly he was injured, until he saw his reflection in a pair of glasses.

“My face was charred black, my nose was gone, my ears were gone, I had blood running out of my nose, my mouth, my eyes and I just couldn’t believe that was me that I was looking at,” said Harris.

Harris describes the three years that followed as a rollercoaster of painful surgeries and emotions. He taught himself to talk again, how to walk and how to eat. But, it was still hard for him to look in the mirror.

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