Veteran who was shot 13 times in Iraq walks across stage, graduates from Middle Tennessee State University

An Army veteran who survived being shot 13 times while serving in Iraq was able to walk across the stage at Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday, thanks to the help from an on-campus organization. Jay Strobino was injured in 2006, getting shot at close range and leaving the entire right side of his body riddled … Continue reading “Veteran who was shot 13 times in Iraq walks across stage, graduates from Middle Tennessee State University”

An Army veteran who survived being shot 13 times while serving in Iraq was able to walk across the stage at Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday, thanks to the help from an on-campus organization.

Jay Strobino was injured in 2006, getting shot at close range and leaving the entire right side of his body riddled with bullets.

His company with the 101st Airborne Division was on a mission to grab a high-profile target when they were ambushed by enemy fighters. One militant fired at Strobino.

“He came back around and he shot me again, and right before he shot me again I was like, ‘this is it.’ That was it, all I could do was roll over and take the brunt of it again," Strobino told FOX17.

Jay Strobino walked across the stage on Saturday after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University. (FOX17)

Strobino underwent over a year of rehabilitation and later enrolled at MTSU.

After getting in touch with the Daniels Veterans Center, which helps student-veterans with their academic needs, Strobino said he was finally able to graduate and walk across the stage with his degree in Exercise Science. Strobino also minored in Biology.

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“It's like a dream; I mean, it's not real. It doesn't feel real, it doesn't seem real in my body, in my mind,” he told FOX17.

Strobino, who currently works at a pharmacy, is considering continuing his education and going for his masters. He told WSMV he would like to get a job at the Department of Veterans Affairs to help fellow veterans one-on-one.

"The sky isn't even the limit. You can push past that, like there is no limit," he said.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

‘Wreaths Across America’ honors fallen vets at hundreds of locations in the US

At hundreds of ceremonies this weekend, Americans quietly paid their respects to those who served and lost their lives in the country's wars.

"Wreaths Across America" is an annual December event that pays tribute to U.S. servicemembers.

"We're here to honor the veterans. My father was a veteran, my grandfather and my great grandfather and we’re here to place the wreaths to honor them," one participant said, reports Fox 2.

Last year, more than 75,000 volunteers placed wreaths at 245,000 gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery.

This year, the organization sent 1.75 million wreaths to 1,640 locations that were set to hold ceremonies, according to the Pentagon.

This is the event’s 27th year at Arlington, honoring the men and women who've served in the U.S. armed forces.

President Trump on Saturday visited Arlington to shake hands with volunteers who had just taken part in a wreath-laying ceremony there.

According to the official Wreaths Across America Facebook page, the effort began in 1992 and was focused only on Arlington cemetery. It has since expanded to locations nationwide with a goal to remember those lost, honor their sacrifice and teach the next generation about freedom.

Fox News’ Robert Gearty contributed to this report.

Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

Trump joins Wreaths Across America in laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery

President Trump paid a Saturday visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where thousands of volunteers had just taken part in the rain in the annual holiday wreath-laying tribute to those who served—and died– in America’s wars.

Trump made the unscheduled stop to the famous military ceremony about 2:15 p.m. ET, hours after the event began.

"They do a great job, a really great job. Thank you," Trump said during the visit.

Every December, Wreaths Across America places wreaths on the graves at Arlington and other veterans cemeteries.

“Spending a rainy Saturday morning helping with Wreaths Across America at Arlington!!” Jessica Moyer told her followers on Facebook. “Such a humbling experience.”

Last year more than 75,000 volunteers placed wreaths at 245,000 Arlington gravesites.

This year, the organization shipped a staggering 1.75 million wreaths to 1,640 locations that will hold ceremonies across the U.S., according to the Pentagon.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA FACES SHORTAGE OF WREATHS FOR ARLINGTON CEMETERY

A few dozen locations overseas are participating. Wreaths Across America says 2018 is the first year permission was granted to place wreaths at Normandy to honor those who died during World War II’s D-Day invasion.

The Wreaths Across America caravan departed Columbia Falls, Maine, where the wreaths were made on Dec. 8 for the journey to Arlington.

"We know that for a Gold Star Family member, every day is Memorial Day for them and we understand that at the holidays, it's an especially difficult time with an empty seat at the table all year round,” Bre Kingsbury of Wreaths Across America said, according to Fox 5 DC.

TRUMP, PENCE MISS VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCE AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY

“The holidays, it can be especially tough. So that wreath really is a symbol that shows them that they are not forgotten and that their loved one is not forgotten," she said.

This is the event’s 27th year at Arlington, honoring the men and women who've served in the U.S. armed forces.

Wreaths Across America holds holiday wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery

Thousands of volunteers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday for the annual holiday wreath-laying event that pays tribute to those who served—and died– in America’s wars.

Every December, Wreaths Across America places wreaths on the graves at Arlington and other veterans cemeteries.

“Spending a rainy Saturday morning helping with Wreaths Across America at Arlington!!” Jessica Moyer told her followers on Facebook. “Such a humbling experience.”

Last year more than 75,000 volunteers placed wreaths at 245,000 Arlington gravesites.

This year, the organization shipped a staggering 1.75 million wreaths to 1,640 locations that will hold ceremonies across the U.S., according to the Pentagon.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA FACES SHORTAGE OF WREATHS FOR ARLINGTON CEMETERY

A few dozen locations overseas are participating. Wreaths Across America says 2018 is the first year permission was granted to place wreaths at Normandy to honor those who died during World War II’s D-Day invasion.

The Wreaths Across America caravan departed Columbia Falls, Maine, where the wreaths were made on Dec. 8 for the journey to Arlington.

"We know that for a Gold Star Family member, every day is Memorial Day for them and we understand that at the holidays, it's an especially difficult time with an empty seat at the table all year round,” Bre Kingsbury of Wreaths Across America said, according to Fox 5 DC.

TRUMP, PENCE MISS VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCE AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY

“The holidays, it can be especially tough. So that wreath really is a symbol that shows them that they are not forgotten and that their loved one is not forgotten," she said.

This is the event’s 27th year at Arlington, honoring the men and women who've served in the U.S. armed forces.

Extremely rare ‘unicorn’ of US paper money expected to sell for $3 million

An extremely rare U.S. currency note from the late 19th century is expected to sell for up to $3 million when it is auctioned next year.

The 1891 $1,000 Silver Certificate is the only bill of its kind believed to exist in private hands, according to auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Known as the Marcy note, the bill features the portrait of former New York Governor William L. Marcy, who served as a senator and as secretary of war under President James Knox Polk.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries notes that the Marcy note is sometimes considered the “unicorn” of U.S. money thanks to its unique design. The bill, which has an estimated pre-sale value of $2 million to $3 million, is being offered at auction for the first time.

'HOLY GRAIL OF PAPER MONEY' SELLS AT AUCTION FOR $2M

The note will be auctioned at the Whitman Spring Expo, which takes place in Baltimore between Feb. 28 and March 3.

The back of the note. (Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Another extremely rare $1,000 bill described as the “Holy Grail of paper money” was recently sold at auction for just over $2 million.

The 1890 Treasury Note is dubbed the “Grand Watermelon” on account of the large green zeros on the back of the bill. Major General George Meade, the commander of Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg, is shown on the bill’s face.

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Returning soldier surprises granddaughter at Chili’s in touching footage: ‘Can I sit here?’

A touching moment between a returning soldier and his granddaughter warmed the hearts of everyone at a North Carolina Chili’s on Friday night.

Petty Officer First Class Virgil Kiger, of the U.S. Coast Guard, was filmed surprising the little girl inside the Winston-Salem restaurant after returning home from deployment in Papua New Guinea, WXII reported.

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In the footage, Kiger, 58, can be seen tapping his unsuspecting granddaughter on the arm before asking, “Hey, can I sit here?”

The girl then whips around, gasps, and stands silently in disbelief before breaking into tears and going for an embrace.

“Pawpaw!” she yells, throwing her arms around him.

"We are so excited to have him home," Kiger’s stepdaughter, Brittney Hendrick, told WXII. She added that Kiger will likely remain home for the holidays.

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Kiger, whose unit is based out of Fort Eustis, Va., was previously stationed in Guantanamo Bay for a year, WXII reported. He has served his country for 26 years.

Veteran, wife donate everything in house to Camp Fire firefighters who lost homes

A California couple moving to North Carolina have chosen to leave behind most of their belongings, donating them to firefighters who lost their homes in the deadly Camp Fire.

Kim Ringeisen and his wife, Annette, packed up a 26-foot storage truck with their household goods in the town of Gilroy so they can be used to help dozens of families in need.

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“We didn’t lose our sentimental things. We didn’t lose something to a fire very abruptly. So, I think it’s good if we can donate everything we have. We’ll start over. They’re starting over. So, I think it’s going to be a good thing, a good memory for us in how we helped,” Kim told KCRA.

Kim, a combat veteran with 15 years of search and rescue experience, saw firsthand the devastation the fire caused on the town of Paradise and the surrounding areas.

“I was searching about 100 homes in Paradise…this was unimaginable. We had to rewrite ways of doing things and figure out new ways to take care of what we need to take care of out there,” he said of their efforts.

Along with the household items, the couple donated homemade toys crafted by Annette.

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“My husband spent many days involved in the recovery efforts, getting to know many of the people who were impacted and lost everything. There is not much I can do, but I decided to donate all dolls, toys, and knitted items that were in the store to the families that were left with nothing,” she wrote on Instagram.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Indiana county installs blue Christmas tree in honor of officers killed in the line of duty

A special tribute to fallen officers is on display at the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana.

They installed a Christmas tree with 137 blue ornaments to represent the 137 officers killed in the line of duty this year, including Boone County’s own Deputy Jacob Pickett.

“It means a lot to all of us – we were all very close. He was a wonderful officer, and it’s our way of honoring him and the other 136 officers that have been killed this year,” said Mike Gideon, Boone County Senior Dispatch Officer.

Each ornament was hand-written with the officer’s name, rank, and end of watch date.

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"That's a life. That's a life that matters. That's a chair that's empty. That's a car that's not being driven. That is an incredible hero that's no longer walking our streets, so it meant something,” said Joni Scott, Boone Co Sheriff’s Office Chaplain.

After Christmas, each ornament will be sent to the department where the officer worked.

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Police officers respond to shoplifting at Walmart, help thief buy the boots he needs for a job

A young man was caught trying to steal a pair of work boots at a Walmart in Kansas, but when police officers learned what his motives were, they decided to help him out instead of punishing him.

The Roeland Park Police Department shared the story on its Facebook page Thursday, praising the officers involved.

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The authorities received a call that a juvenile had been taken into custody at the superstore after getting caught in the act. When they responded, they discovered the boy was a “displaced juvenile within the State of Kansas Justice system” living in a group home.

"Congrats to Officer Suffield and Officer Snepp for making another difference in RP and for a job well done." (Roeland Park Police Department)

He told the police he needed the boots so he could get a job. After hearing his story, the officers were compelled to buy the boy the boots rather than arrest him. They also gave him “some words of encouragement,” telling him to find a job, finish school and stay out of trouble.

According to the post, the officers’ kind act left the boy “with tears in his eyes” and made an impression on the entire police department.

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“Just another reason why I am so proud of my officers here in Roeland Park. I just smiled when I heard this story a short time ago as it almost made me cry too. Congrats to Officer Suffield and Officer Snepp for making another difference in RP and for a job well done….”

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Nashville airport travelers stop to sing national anthem for children of fallen service members, viral video shows

Travelers at Nashville's busy airport over the weekend stopped to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” paying their respects to a plane full of children whose parents had died in combat.

“At the Nashville airport I walked out into the concourse to this scene @americanairlines was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disneyworld on an all expenses paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate,” Jen Tringale wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

"But when they announced them over the loud speaker and they lined up to board the plane the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute. Most every person standing around, myself included was bawling at the sight of these kids and spouses who have paid so great a price for our country. To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling.

OFFICERS RESPOND TO SHOPLIFTING AT WALMART, HELP THIEF BUY BOOTS HE NEEDED FOR JOB

“Seeing the general public in an airport stand still to honor these kids was simply beautiful,” Tringale wrote.

The social media post had earned around 9,000 impressions and was shared approximately 6,100 times as of Monday evening.

Matt Richardson is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @MRichardson713.