Neighbors React To Severely Burned Local Soldier

By Ryan Dearbone | 

A Woodburn soldier is in intensive care in San Antonio, Texas after being burned by an explosion.

While serving in Afghanistan, Army Specialist Brian Gorham suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face, legs, and arms, after the Humvee he was riding in rolled over a bomb.

Frances Miller's known 23-year-old Gorham for almost 15 years and they think the world of him.

"Brian's a real sweet person. He's always tried to help us. He'd come over and anything we needed," says Miller.

19-year-old Stephanie McKinney says Gorham's "like a big brother to her".

"We rode the bus together, so he would always watch out for me," she recalls.

So his neighbors,as well as the rest of the close-knit Woodburn community are in shock after an explosion left Gorham severely burned.

"Everybody's been real sad because most everybody knows him because he pretty much grew up here," says Frances McKinney.

"He was doing what he loved. He loved being a soldier," Stephanie says.

Miller says the incident has been very tough on Gorham's family, especially his mom.

"She's taking it a little better. She's really upset, of course. But I think they're just handling things one a day at a time," Miller says.

Gorham will have a long struggle ahead of him, but those that know him best believe he can overcome this obstacle.

"Knowing Brian and his mind if he can get it set, he'll come through this and won't think anything about it," says Frances McKinney.

"We miss him here and he better hurry up and get well and get home," smiles Stephanie.

Specialist Gorham's father, Toney, says his son recently had his first set of skin grafts done on his arms and legs.

He will undergo several more of these procedures over the next year... but doctors believe Gorham will be able to walk out of the hospital.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to Specialist Gorham can send it to Woodburn Baptist Church, Post Office box 38, Woodburn KY, 42170.

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