Lasting Salute Built for Soldier

By: Leah Garey
By: Leah Garey

Sgt. First Class Norris Galatas, a soldier from the 150th Combat Engineer Battalion who was badly injured in an explosion in Iraq, was remembered in a real way by his friends this weekend.

Through a newspaper article, Terry and Leann Sande saw a connection with Galatas.

"Once you become a horse person and you see someone in need you don't even about it. You just do it," said Terry Sande.

But it was more than just a love of horses that brought these two families together. It was also the military. Terry served in the Navy and his son is a Marine.

"I know if something happened to my husband, I'd want the community to help me," said Leann Sande.

And the community did come out, to help the Galatas family build a fence for its beloved horses. Janis could not do the work by herself.

"I know nothing about fence building. I can't even nail a nail," said Janis Galatas. "That was Norris' thing. But these people are doing a great job."

And these new friends called the project fun, instead of work. The fence was supposed to be a surprise for Norris when he gets to come home in February, but the secret's out.

Galatas' injuries were very severe, and in the last several months he has undergone sixteen surgeries. Janis jokingly refers to Norris as a POWR, or Prisoner of Walter Reed (Army Hospital).

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