Afghanistan Veteran Returns To Gladewater - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/7/05-Longview

Afghanistan Veteran Returns To Gladewater

  Friends, family, and others in Gladewater came out to say thank you to a hometown hero, as a wounded Afghanistan veteran comes home.
  Making his way into Gladewater city hall, Eli Cook, a specialist in the Army for 2 years, was a little taken aback by the attention paid to him for what he sees as doing his duty for the country.
  "It's kind of overwhelming because to me all I did was go to work and do my job. Didn't seem like a big deal to me" says Cook.
  Cook was on a patrol in Afghanistan in August when his vehicle was hit by guerillas RPG and mortar fire, he suffered massive leg and hip wounds. With all the war news focusing on Iraq, he feels Afghanistan is often forgotten.
  "Yeah cause everybody always asks me what part of Iraq was I in and I've never been there, everybody forgets about Afghanistan" he says. 
  But today his hometown didn't forget, Cook was presented a city medallion, and his own day. In an official proclamation from Gladewater mayor John Paul Tallent said, "in recognition of Eli Cooks bravery in action I therefore by the authority vested in me as the mayor, do proclaim January 12th 2005 as Eli Cook day in Gladewater"
  "It feels very good that he's back in Gladewater back home, Gladewater Texas never looked so great" said his father Barry Cook.
  Cook has been awarded a purple heart and a bronze star for bravery. He spent month's in treatment at Walter reed hospital and his injuries were so severe he may always have difficulty walking, but he accepts the soldiers price for service.
  Cook will return to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. For more treatment. He will be evaluated at a later date to determine his eligibility to remain in the Army.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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