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Army Ranger honored during State of the Union speech: ‘I’d go back if they let me’

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Posted at 12:05 AM, Feb 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-06 00:06:15-05

Don't expect Cory Remsburg to take anything – even a handshake – sitting down.

He is the Army ranger who did 10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan – a total of three years and three months of combat.

He says hands down, the toughest fight is against his wounds.

Shrapnel from a roadside bomb near Kandahar in Afhganistan left his speech slurred, his right eye blind, and his left side partially paralyzed, but he's walking farther and farther unassisted.

He says he does not have any memory of what happened.

It was October 1, 2009. His father Craig got the call.

“It penetrated the brain. It went through the skull to the brain,” says Craig.

It was three and a half months before he came out of a coma.

“It took probably seven to eight months before he could speak,” says Craig.

President Obama went to visit Cory at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 2010.

At that time, he says, he hardly knew which way was up.

The president spotted a picture in Cory's room and realized they had met before at the 65th anniversary of D-day. Last August they met for a third time.

Cory says this time he knew it was the president.

He showed the president he could stand and, with help, walk across the room.

Then there was that incredible moment at last week's State of the Union Address.

Cory stood again and all the leaders of a notoriously divided government gave him the longest standing ovation anyone can remember.

“Here was this opportunity when everyone could agree on one thing and that one thing was this wounded warrior in the balcony,” says Craig.

And what does Sgt. First class Cory Remsburg think of the extraordinary service he gave his country:

“In a perfect world, I'd do it all again. I'd go back if they let me,” says Cory.

We all know it's not a perfect world. But Cory Remsburg just might be a perfect soldier.