Corey Briest, a National Guard veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, toured the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Thursday, with his wife, Jenny, and their two children. The family was accompanied by Tom Brokaw, who hails from the Briests’ hometown in South Dakota, in a segment for the TODAY show.
It was a Christmas wish for the Briest children to see the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, as part of the ongoing journey for the family to understand the sacrifice made by Briest, who deployed to Iraq soon after the 9/11 attacks.
In 2005, Briest’s National Guard brigade was hit by an IED that killed three of his friends and led to several surgeries and three long hospital stays. When Briest returned to South Dakota, his hometown rallied around his bravery and built a house for the family to better accommodate Briest’s limited mobility.
In addition to the hometown connection, the visit was a poignant reminder of the difficulties facing the more than 60,000 wounded veterans who have returned to the U.S. from Iraq and Afghanistan and are “a hidden part of American life,” said Brokaw.
Find out more about the Briest family’s visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in the video here.