Former New Bern Soldier Heads To Work After Being Injured In Iraq

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

Thursday was a former soldier's first day back at work after being seriously injured while fighting abroad.

Sergeant Eric Edmundson returned home from Iraq in a wheel chair, unable to speak but those injuries have not kept him down.

The next time you walk into the New Bern Field & Streams Sport Store you just may be greeted by Edmundson's smiling face, Thursday was his first day on the job.

Eric’s dad Ed says, "I happened to go into his bedroom at 4:30 in the morning, he was lying wide awake, I think he was thinking about coming here."

Edmundson is the newest employee at Field and Stream Sports, his duties, greet customers as they come and go.

The owner of the store, Earl Dail says, "This country just can't do enough for the ones that put their lives on the line for our freedom."

That's why he hired Edmundson who served in the army for 8 years, from December 1999 to July 2007.

In 2005, he was seriously injured by an explosive device while fighting in Iraq. In route to Germany Edmundson went into cardiac arrest and lost oxygen to the brain, causing brain injuries. Now he can't walk or talk but his spirits are still high. He communicates through messages on a computer. But what's work without a little play? The store's created a special gun for Edmundson, so he can go hunting on his own, an activity no injury will keep him from doing.

Right now Edmundson's slated to work two times a week, Tuesday and Thursdays from 11-1pm but he might already have to request some time off, he's been invited to attend this year's Country Music Awards, front row seats!

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