Shaheen invites Derry veteran to D.C.
DERRY - Derry native David Taylor will be Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's guest of honor at Tuesday's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.
Taylor, an Army veteran and former Derry Fire Explorer, was wounded by an improvised explosive devise while serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011. He lost a leg below the knee as a result of his injuries.
Taylor and Shaheen met in 2011 when she visited him at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The two have stayed in contact, and Shaheen honored Taylor at the Derry Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Day Parade in May.
However, Taylor said he was surprised to get the invite from Shaheen.
"I got invited yesterday," Taylor said on Thursday. He said Shaheen wanted him to be her guest as a way to help honor wounded veterans.
Shaheen said she was moved to invite Taylor because of his resolve and courage in the face of adversity.
"The service and bravery of David Taylor represent the very best of the United States and all those who commit to protect our country," said Shaheen. "In New Hampshire and especially in Derry, we are proud to call David one of our own. His story demonstrates the selflessness of our men and women in uniform, and reminds us to say thank you to all those who fight for our freedom, today and every day."
She said she is thrilled Taylor will be able to join her and is honored for the opportunity to thank him for his service.
Taylor said he appreciates Shaheen's efforts on the behalf of wounded veterans in New Hampshire and across the country.
"It is an honor and enormous thrill to be invited by Senator Shaheen," he said. "Attending the State of the Union is a once in a lifetime opportunity and yet another display of Senator Shaheen working to support veterans. I have no doubt it will be an unforgettable experience."
Taylor said it means a lot to him and other wounded warriors that Shaheen and other powers that be are taking time to address the issues they face.
Taylor plans on leaving for Washington, D.C. today and staying until the end of next week. "I'll be taking some time while I'm down there to go over to Walter Reed and visit some of my buddies," he said.