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Lawmaker Wants to Help Injured Mississippi Soldier

Help is on the way for an injured Mississippi soldier.
HORN LAKE, MS— Help is on the way for an injured Mississippi soldier. We first told you about Army Private Taylor Odom on Thanksgiving Day. He was injured during a training exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado. The military doesn't want to pick up the entire tab to send him home so a Mississippi state lawmaker is stepping in to get Odom back to Horn Lake.

Just three weeks into his military career, 19 year old Taylor Odom was severely injured while training at Fort Carson Colorado for his deployment to Afghanistan. Odom's family says a humvee flipped over and landed on top of him.

"He's lucky to be alive,” said Odom’s step father Chris Taylor.

Odom's step mother, Brandi Taylor says he suffered brain damage and has trouble remembering even simple things. Doctors say it's best for Odom to recover at home with loved ones in Horn Lake.

"The doctor's are saying that he needs to be closer to home around family because he's having a problem with emotional depression,” said Brandi Taylor.

But because of his long list of medical problems Odom needs special transportation to get home. The military told the family some of the transportation costs will be covered but the rest is up to the family.

"We have to reach as close as $5,000 as we can,” said Brandi.

Mississippi Representative Chuck Espy says that's absurd and the family shouldn't have to pay a dime.

"I was frantic and furious all at the same time,” said Representative Espy. "I just believe our Mississippi soldiers or any soldiers in the United States of America should have all the rights to be back home with his family as he's been injured."

After Espy saw our story he began working to get the military to cover 100-percent of Odom’s transportation and medical costs.

"We can help people in Haiti, we can help people in Japan after a disaster, and I know that we can bring one soldier home immediately to be home with his family,” said Espy. "I'm a little upset but it's just time to go to work and get this solider home."

Odom's family hopes that when all is said and done he will be home for Christmas. Representative Espy has been speaking with the Mississippi National Guard to figure out the finances of bringing Odom home. They will assemble a medical team on Monday. There's also a fund set up for Odom at Merchants & Farmer's Bank in Southaven, Mississippi under his name.
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