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Local soldier's family grateful on Memorial Day

11:06 PM, May 27, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As we remember and honor our veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend, there are many men and women returning injured from the war who need support.

One local family who didn't think its son was going to make it, almost one year ago today.

"I was literally working on his eulogy on Memorial Day," said Greg Timoney.  

Greg and Diane Timoney were prepared for the worst.

"We had opened his will and were preparing because the doctors had told us there really wasn't much hope," said Diane.

Their son Ryan was critically injured last year in Afghanistan just days before Memorial Day.

The two soldiers Ryan was out on patrol with during the attack didn't make it back.

"Two families did not get to see their loved ones, Captain Jesse Osbet, and Second Lieutenant Tobias Alexander," said Diane.

The Timoney's thought they were flying to Andrews Airforce Base to say goodbye to their son.

It would have been coming full circle for the family.

Greg was in the military, and stationed at Andrews in the '80's.

But that's when the family finally got some hope.

"I'm looking at this large room and I said, what did this used to be? And the woman said, well this is the delivery room, it's where he was born. That's where Ryan was born," said Greg.

The room where Ryan was born, was the room where things started to turn around.

There were still hard times ahead, but their son was going to make it.

Months of surgery, physical therapy, and hope couldn't fix everything though.

Last month Ryan's left leg was amputated as a result of the injury in Afghanistan.

"Ryan was ready for it, Ryan wanted it off, and we knew it was the best thing," said Diane.  

But there have been good times too.

They got a dog.  

And Ryan married his sweetheart Kelby, who has stood by him through it all on the beach in March.

"It was a nice presentation, it was important to him to have all his medals set up and he looked good. It was a very special day," said Greg.  

Ryan and Kelby are now living at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital where he's learning to walk with his new prosthesis.

And the Timoneys say it was the support from this community that has kept them all going.

"They really touched my heart, and we are just so so thankful for everybody. Anyone who has said a prayer for Ryan, or a prayer for us, or any of the soldiers and service members. It really means a lot to us," said Diane.

First Coast News

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