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January 27, 2011 10:00 PM

Corey Briest Appears On Oprah

sioux falls, sd


A former South Dakota National Guard soldier who was severely injured by a roadside bomb five years ago in Iraq appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show today.

Corey Briest and his wife Jenny were special guests as Oprah paid a special salute to what she calls the bravest families in America.

KELOLAND News first introduced you to Corey Briest when we flew to Los Angeles in August 2007 as Corey went through intense physical and speech therapy.

Years later, Corey continues to make great strides, especially with his speech.

Oprah: Corey Briest is from Tom Brokaw's hometown in South Dakota.

Appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show, Corey and his wife, Jenny, sat down with Tom Brokaw and Oprah to talk about the challenges and struggles families of injured soldiers face every day. 

Oprah:  How is adjusting to being blind affecting you Corey?
Corey: Dramatically! Dramatically
Jenny: Can you tell her how?
Corey: Can't be a paramedic anymore like he wanted to.

Plus Corey told Oprah, he can't read to his daughter anymore. Instead she now reads to him. 

"It's a huge adjustment, not only for Corey, but for me I went from wife to caregiver and for our kids, they grew up fast, they had to," Jenny told Oprah.

When Oprah asked Jenny if she's angry about the war and what happened to her husband, she got emotional. 

"I'm not angry about what happened, because if I went to that place you probably would never come back and you have to move on, but I'm angry for the people who walked away from us especially some of Corey's closet friends because he needs them," Jenny said while fighting back tears.

Brokaw followed the Briest family to their home earlier this year and talked about how people can help, because even the bravest families in America can't do it alone. 

"You can just go to the door and say how can I help, you can leave something, she has her sidewalk and her driveway shoveled by her friends in Yankton," Brokaw said.

Jenny told Oprah that the Briest family and their friends celebrate every year what's called Corey's alive day, the day he was injured.
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