Two injured veterans get new best friends

Two Purple Heart veterans get service dogs
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two military veterans have found new best friends in Charlotte. First Sergeant Marcus Wilson and Sergeant Gregory Hedrick were both seriously injured during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tuesday afternoon, both men were officially handed their service dogs at The Dog Knowledge in Charlotte.

"He means the world to me. He is my right-hand man," said Sgt. Wilson.

In 2006, Sgt. Wilson was the only survivor of an IED attack in Iraq. It goes without saying he's been through more than most can imagine, but that's why Wally is here.

"I tend to pull to the right when I walk and he pulls me back to him I can feel him do it when I'm walking," Sgt. Wilson said.

Sgt. Wilson along with Sgt. Gregory Hedrick were both presented their dogs today after spending a week training with them.

"I'm stoked and amazed by getting this dog. It's like getting a friend and a family member," Sgt. Hedrick said.

The Dog Knowledge College helped train Trusty and Wally to be calm, to help support their veterans however they may need it.

Owner Debbie Lange said it's not a job that every dog is cut out for.

"We may look at 50 puppies to find that one special puppy that has the environmental fortitude to be our next service dog," she said.

Both dogs have a very special role to fulfill. But Wally will also be getting a new name.

Sgt. Wilson said the man who saved his life in Iraq was called "Doc."

He added, "So it's kind of like a dedication to him for me being here."

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