WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lt. James Byler, of Huntington, returned home from Afghanistan after losing both his legs, only to begin a new battle, this time to get his life back. Byler, 25, was nearly killed Oct. 17, 2010, while serving in Helmand Province. Byler was leading 12 Marines on foot patrol in one of the war's deadliest missions, pushing Taliban fighters out of the area, when he stepped on an IED.Despite his grave injuries, Byler finds reasons to be grateful."I'm alive, I'm breathing air," he says. "I'm still seeing people I love when I go home."The road to recovery is an uphill battle, but Byler refuses to accept defeat as he continues to train at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "He's gone from learning how to get out of bed to learning how to walk again," says Bo Bergeron, Byler's physical therapist. Byler started learning how to walk again using short prosthetics. He's now graduated to using C-legs, which contain a computerized chip to help him walk with a smooth gait.However, Byler says what got him out of the wheelchair wasn't technology, but rather faith and hard work.A benefit concert is being held tomorrow night at the John Engeman Theater in Northport to raise money that will be used to make Byler's home wheelchair-accessible.
The John Engeman Theater