The town of McCamey honors one special soldier

by Mitzi Loera
NewsWest 9

American flags line main street in McCamey in celebration of the Fourth of July, but this community is celebrating something more, the return of a home town hero.

The moment you meet Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, evidence of his sacrifice is visible as he extends his right arm in a handshake you see a flesh colored bandage, covering severe burns suffered in an explosion.

"The area we were in was really bad with I.E.D., and I knew it was dangerous and you know you always have it in the back of your mind that it could happen to you.  I was a truck commander when my truck got hit, I lost three of my soldiers."

"I got a phone call from the rear detachement commander telling me he had gotten hurt," said his wife Kathreyn.

That was February 19th. Shilo's second tour of duty, his injuries so severe he spent 44 days in a coma.

"35 percent of my body was covered in burns.  I lost my index finger and both of my pinkies that has been a challenge also."

Another challenge, his ears were badly burned leaving him almost deaf sometimes straining to hear our questions.

"I apologize ahead of time if you have to repeat the questions just kind of talk real loud."

His wife Kathreyn said, "Its been quick it seems slow when people look at because he's out of the hospital, and he should be up and going you don't see everyday we see little bitty things that are a milestone that we take for granted."

Now Shilo doesn't take anything for granted making it a priority to make a full recovery.

"Everyday day I see me getting stronger I see me looking a little better I gotta do it  I've gotta do it I've got too many people counting on my I've got four kids and I've got to be there for them."

And it includes supporting his children in their decisions in spite of what he's been through.