EAST ISLIP - Students at East Islip Middle School attended a boot camp today held by a Marine from Long Island who taught them what it takes to be one of the few and the proud.
Lt. James Byler, of Huntington, not only showed the kids the hard work that goes into becoming a Marine, but also talked about his experiences on the front lines.
Byler lost both his legs in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED last year. He now has to learn how to walk again with prosthetics. He says he's been overwhelmed by the support of the community and the students at East Islip Middle School, who have been donating care packages to Marines stationed in Afghanistan since 2007.
"I wanted to come here and say, 'Thank you,' and maybe give them a couple of lessons here and there," Byler says.
The kids hit the gym with the Marine, who gave them a taste of the exercises he had to go through as part of his training.
The John Engeman Theatre in Northport will be holding a special tribute for Byler June 24. Money raised during the event will go toward making his home handicapped-accessible.
For an interview with Lt. James Byler, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.