Injured Soldier Honored at Home

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by Allison Brown, Fox 8 Reporter

RICHFIELD, Ohio -- It’s story of courage, honor and heart.

A Summit County community celebrates the life of an Army Staff Sergeant who was injured in Afghanistan one year ago.

People in the Village of Richfield are calling December 8th, “Alive Day.”

Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale has gone through so much over the past year.  He lost his sight, and broke every bone in his face.  But through it all he is an inspiration, a true hero.

"He is the bravest and most amazing man I've ever met," said Kelly Hale, Aaron’s wife.

The Hales were special guests at Revere High School Saturday night for a community celebration.  They were welcomed with respect, song, and fond memories—all to give important recognition to Aaron’s sacrifice.

"A year ago today I was hit by an IED," said SSG, Aaron Hale.

After eight and a half months in Afghanistan, his life was forever changed.

"The moment of the blast, I was blinded, it took my eyes but I remained conscious," he said.

The Revere High grad also tore his eardrums, broke every bone in his face, and fractured his skull.

Through it all he had his wife Kelly and four children by his side.

"I'm so proud of him, he's come a long way," Mrs. Hale said.

The family is grateful.  After 26 surgeries and a long road of recovery, Hale hasn’t gotten discouraged.  His positive attitude makes a lasting impression on everyone he meets.  He is a man of character and courage.

"To make it to this one year mark and celebrate my survival is amazing," Hale said.

The family is absolutely strong.  Shortly after Aaron’s accident, his wife Kelly was diagnosed with cancer.  She tells FOX 8 that she is doing well and has undergone treatment.

The Hales currently reside in Florida.