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Wounded Soldiers Find Community and Healing

A new program at Walter Reed Medical Center is trying to help wounded warriors recover from the incredible losses they've experienced in war. Battlefield medicine has gotten better and better, but that also means that the people they're saving are increasingly injured. So some of these injured soldiers are finding healing through a community based on music. For instance, recently a band of wounded soldiers performed at Madison Square Garden in a concert called "Stand Up for Heroes." The vocalist for the band was Marine Cpl. Tim Donley who lost both of his legs and the use of his right arm in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Even though he can't walk, salute, or shake someone's hand, he's grateful to be part of a group where his singing voice is valued. His signature song has become Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

The lyrics of the song are hauntingly honest: "It's not a cry you can hear at night. It's not somebody who has seen the light. It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah."

Donley told a reporter,

I thought I understood [that song], but the next thing you know, my whole life is coming down around my ears. Every dream, every hope I've ever had for the future is broken around me, and I don't know where to turn, and it was at that place that God said, "Do you still trust me? Do you still believe that I have what's best for you?" And it was at that moment that I understood "Hallelujah." I may be more whole now than I've ever been in my life.

In that place of belonging Donley and his friends are discovering wholeness in spite of their brokenness.

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