Wounded veteran from LI crosses Tunnel to Towers finish line

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

A hero veteran from Holbrook who lost both his legs in Iraq paid tribute to another hero in a special event this weekend.

Chris Levi took part in the Tunnel to Towers Run. The New York City 5K covers the same path taken on Sept. 11 by Firefighter Stephen Siller, who raced with 60 lbs of gear on his back after the terror attacks, trying to get to the twin towers. Siller gave his life trying to save others.

Levi followed a similar call to duty, but his journey led him to the battlefield. In March of 2008, the Army corporal lost both his legs when a pipe bomb blew up near his Humvee in Iraq. But his determination to get back to his platoon never wavered.

"I figured as long as I fought to stay alive, they would do everything they could to keep me alive," Levi says.

Levi endured years of rehab, and on Sunday he joined thousands of others who followed Siller's footsteps through the tunnel for the annual race.

All proceeds from the Tunnel to Towers Run funds the Building for America's Bravest Program, which builds custom-designed homes for injured service members. Levi was eligible for the program, and in the winter he's due to receive a smart home in Melville, mortgage-free.

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