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Wounded war veteran visit Ground Zero for first time

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 04 2012 04:28:56 PM CDT

For one local soldier, Independence Day began with his first ever journey to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

For one local soldier, Independence Day began with his first ever journey to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Thirteen men who fought for America got a chance to see the 9/11 Memorial.

"It's certainly incredible," said U.S. Army Sgt. Adam Keys, a native of Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co. "I haven't been here since the towers came down, and I've been trying to get here, and trying to get here. Of course, I was in the hospital for too long.”

Adam lost both legs and his left arm when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan in July 2010. He has endured 120 surgeries since then.

“I'm here now. It's a beautiful day, and I'm here with all my brothers, so that is a good thing,” said Keys.

Keys and the other 12 men were guests of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. They toured the memorial and appeared on national television. They will also be getting a lot help in the future.

“We owe them," said Jack Kelty, a board member for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. "We defiantly owe them as a country.”

The Stephen Siller Tunnel for Towers Foundation has a lot of ways to raise money to help armed service members like Keys, running events, concerts and Building for America's Bravest.

“We can't go back in time," said Kelty. "We can't undo what happened to them. We can't replace their limbs. We can one by one raise money, build a smart home, give them as much independence as we can.”

The group will start building a home for Keys this year. A fundraising concert for that effort is set for August 17 at the State Theatre in Easton.