Marine Will Be Vet's 'Legs' in Marathon

HBO special inspires stranger to help fellow veteran
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2010 4:50 PM CDT

Two former Marines will demonstrate their solidarity in this weekend's Marine Corps Marathon, where Bryan Purcell will act as the "legs" of Eddie Ryan, an Iraq veteran who was paralyzed in combat, AOL News reports. Ryan, 26 was shot twice in the head in 2005, and while he's recovered far more than doctors expected, he can't yet walk on his own. HBO featured him in a show about vets, and the segment touched Purcell, who was inspired by Ryan's goal to run a marathon.

"As soon as I saw that special, I started brainstorming ideas on how to make this happen," said Purcell, 36. Then, 7 months ago, he appeared on Ryan's doorstep, offering to man a specialized bike, which he will push, aided by Ryan, who will provide propulsion with a hand crank. The run takes place on Halloween in Washington, DC.
(More Iraq veterans stories.)

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