Military veteran in wheelchair remembers son killed in training - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Military veteran in wheelchair remembers son killed in training accident

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Mike Perry opened up about his son Michael, Jr. and the family he left behind. Mike Perry opened up about his son Michael, Jr. and the family he left behind.
Memphian Mike Perry served his country. A stroke now prevents him from walking, but it doesn't stop him from getting around town. Memphian Mike Perry served his country. A stroke now prevents him from walking, but it doesn't stop him from getting around town.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphian Mike Perry served his country. A stroke now prevents him from walking, but it doesn't stop him from getting around town. But he was hurting for another reason Friday. His son who joined the military last year died in a training accident before heading overseas.

"I wish my son was here to wish a happy father's day," said military veteran Michael Perry, Sr.

With pain and pride in his eyes, Perry opened up about his son Michael, Jr. and the family he left behind.

"My granddaughter cries every time I talk with her on the phone. She wants to talk with her daddy, but she can't," said Perry.

Perry served 11 years in the army. During Vietnam, he was stationed in South Korea, and he still wears the medals he earned decades ago.

"I was the person that had to call for artillery fire support if we got in trouble. Fortunately, it didn't happen that often," said Perry.

His son Michael, Jr. followed in his footsteps joining the army national guard.

"Last year his group was training at Camp Beauregard in Louisiana before going to Afghanistan. But a tragic accident took his life ... Michael Junior never made it to the battlefield," said Perry. "He stood next to his Humvee, and his bus stood next to his Humvee ... As the bus pulled away he made a left turn and the back of the bus pulled around and pinned him up against a Humvee broke his ribs and suffocated him."

Perry has the flag from his son's funeral and the framed a letter he got from the White house honoring his son.

"That was an amazing funeral. They had a 21 gun salute," he said.

A stroke took his ability to walk nine years ago. Now at the age of 59, Perry relies on his faith and friendships to get him through life's bumps in the road.

"I am a member of the Knights of Columbus at St Francis of Assisi Church ... And those are some of the best people I have ever met," he said.

It is those people who have helped the army veteran and father get him back on the right path of life and overcome grief.

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