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"I do have bad days, but for the most part, I live my life because life is worth living, and I had to carry that through my entire recovery." (Video interview, 1:15:05)

   Shilo A. Harris
Collection image
Shilo Harris in uniform, San Antonio, TX [n.d.]
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: B Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division; B Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division
Service Location: Schweinfurt, Germany; Iraq; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas
Rank: Staff Sergeant
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As a kid growing up in West Texas, Shilo Harris idolized his father and grandfather, both veterans, and soaked up the stories of their military experiences. Despite this family legacy of service, he didn’t enlist until he was 27 years old, after the crystallizing moment of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Although he came relatively late to the military life, he loved every minute of his time as a Cavalry Scout in the Army, from basic training through his deployments to Germany and Iraq. In February 2007, while serving with the 10th Mountain Division near southern Baghdad, his Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), which killed three of his comrades and left him near death, with severe burns to over thirty percent of his body. He describes his subsequent recovery as an emotional and physical “roller coaster” that took three years and countless surgeries.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (85 min.)
»Photo Album  (15 photos)
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»Twenty Years of Service: Post 9/11 Veterans
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Family legacy of military service; grew up hearing a lot of military stories from his father and grandfather; learning lessons from them. (02:02) Description of his childhood in West Texas; impact of his dad’s military service on his family. (02:27) Realizing after 9/11 that he needed to join the military; turned down by an Air Force recruiter because of prior mistakes; Army recruiter helped him enlist but made him work for it. (02:06)
Reflections on basic training; getting through it was one of the biggest successes of his life. (00:44) Description of incident in which he was wounded in February 2007 when his Humvee was hit by an IED; knew he had taken a hit but didn’t realize how badly he was hurt; comrades thought he was dead; seeing their reactions. (11:04) Emotional and physical recovery that followed his injuries; endless series of surgeries; in recovery for three years; felt like a rollercoaster; becoming depressed due to excruciating pain and deciding to fight to recover. (04:48)

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  October 26, 2011
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