Wounded Indiana war vet: 'I will walk again'

January 24, 2011 5:27:22 AM PST
A National Guardsman who once served in the Army was being honored in Indiana over the weekend.

Sgt. 1st Class John Masson was critically injured after stepping on a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

The show of support from his hometown has been overwhelming and inspiring.

On Saturday, the town of Lake Station was giving back to a man who knows what giving truly is.

"God Bless America. Thank you guys over, and over, and over again. I love everybody," said Sgt. John Masson.

Masson lost both his legs and an arm while fighting in Afghanistan. While his loved ones say he's a hero, this native of northwest Indiana says he was simply serving his country.

"There are many guys out there like me, and they would do it over, and over, and over again. So let's not forget about the men who are out there," Masson said.

"He's been so strong the whole time. It's been great to see him," said Masson's cousin Michael Beller.

Masson arrived home Friday following months of recovery and rehab.

The 39-year-old father of three school-age children was wounded October 16 by a roadside bomb.

"I'm really happy that he's still alive, and all that matters is that," said Masson's daughter Morgan.

"It's definitely emotional. I just love him to death. It's just one of those things," said his sister-in-law Mary Eaton.

Right after the blast, Masson, a Special Forces Medic, gave information to a junior medic who treated him and ultimately saved his life.

"From the size of the blast that was there, I shouldn't be here right now. But there's absolutely a God out there for those who don't believe," Masson said.

"I think he's incredible. I think his attitude, what he's been through, I just think he's a hero," said Lake Station resident Pat Danko.

This event in Masson's honor is also a fundraiser and it runs until 11 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Station American Legion.

Organizers hope to raise $100,000 for this veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I am very, very, very grateful for what the people have done for us," said Masson's daughter Morgan.

"We're just happy that I'm able to be here, and I will walk again. Absolutely. There's no doubt about it," Masson said.