By Camaron Abundes
COLORADO CITY- Kathreyn Harris nearly lost her husband, Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris, to a roadside bomb in 2007. Ms. Harris watched Staff SSG Harris speak to a crowd at a Veteran's Day celebration at the Mitchell County Hospital in Colorado City. His speech is a testament to how far they've come.
"Veterans Days has a whole new meaning," she said. "It's has more personal meaning, than ever before."
SSG Harris was burned on 35 percent of his body after the blast. He also lost fingers, and his ears in the explosion that killed three soldiers traveling by Humvee in Iraq on February 19, 2007.
Just in the last few months, SSG Harris underwent a handful of surgeries. Doctors used stem cells and pig bladder cells to stimulate growth in his lips, nose and fingers.
"As you can see they've done more reconstruction on my face, I've got a top lip now. That's cool," he said with a chuckle. "I am amazed at how I look and how I feel."
Doctors have already fitted SSG Harris for prosthetic ears.
To the Colorado City Middle school kids, who took part in the event, SSG Harris is the new face of a veteran.
"It was something special I guess, because we haven't had somebody speak about it like that," Brent Morris, who is the Great-Grandson of a Veteran, said.
In the crowd, those who served in their own day, listened as the kids honored relatives who served overseas over the years.
"I thought it was great how I got to honor my dad," Hayden Redwine, son of another Veteran, said.
Old timers David Stubblefield, already has a brick in his name at the Memorial at the hospital. Stubblefield served in World War II and can't help, but look back.
"Some of us were just luckier than others," he said.
Don Redwine, remembers his time in the Marines and all the men he served alongside.
"A lot of hard days, a lot of good days," Redwine said about losing comrades.
All days, Veteran's like SSG Harris wouldn't trade.