Reporting Paul Burton
BOSTON (CBS) – These are the real heroes of the Boston Marathon: They’re called the Achilles Freedom Team, wounded warriors who will be hand-cycling the 26.2 mile course.
“Doing Boston is the oldest marathon; it’s a privilege to do that,” said retired Marine Sgt. Michael Frazier, 30. “Just to be able to do the Marathon is a dream come true.”
Veteran Jake Murphy of Wellesley is just happy to be home. In July 2011, his entire life changed while he was on patrol in Afghanistan. ”The IED went off; took both of my legs. And I was in a coma for six weeks and suffered traumatic brain injury,” the 26-year-old said of the injuries he suffered from an improvised bomb.
Murphy said he’s proud to not only serve his country but also participate in the Boston Marathon. “My first Boston (Marathon) after years of watching people,” he said.
Each one of the wounded warriors arrived in Boston on Saturday on private jets, and local officials greeted them at the airport.
“It’s breath-taking,” said Janet Patton, director of communications at Achilles International, the nonprofit group that organized the Achilles Freedom Team. “They are all part of the family now.”
Each one of the wounded veterans knows getting through the Marathon will be challenging, but each knows what they can accomplish.
“It’s going to be exciting; a new adventure for me, to see how far I can push myself without feet,” said Christopher Hancock.
“My biggest message is never let anything get you down. You can accomplish anything,” Hancock said. “Me and the other guys are living proof of that.”