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Army veteran who lost both legs to roadside bomb is becoming a doctor

Greg Galeazzi is putting on a white coat at Harvard Medical School six years after losing his legs while serving in the Army.

>> Watch the news report here

Galeazzi told ABC News that he lost his legs and much of his right arm when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan in May 2011, just one month before he was scheduled to head home.

“It felt like I was an empty coke can on train tracks getting hit by a freight train moving at 100 miles per hour,” Galeazzi said. “All I could do was scream. It’s hard to put into words that sickening, nauseating feeling to see that my legs were just gone.”

He added: “I put my head back and just thought, ‘I’m dead.'”

He blacked out, and when he came to minutes later, he learned his fellow soldiers had applied tourniquets to his arm and legs to stop the bleeding. A Medivac helicopter arrived minutes later to take him to the trauma bay.

>> Read more trending news

He underwent more than 50 surgeries and physical therapy and now relies on a wheelchair to get around. Despite the life-changing incident, Galeazzi never gave up on his dream of becoming a doctor.

“Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it,” Galeazzi said.

He took 18 pre-med classes and earned his target score on the MCAT. He’s now one of 165 students in his class at Harvard Medical School. He hasn’t decided what kind of medicine he’ll be practicing yet, but he told ABC News that he’s leaning toward primary care, to be the first line of defense for patients.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more inspirational news

He and his fiancée, Jazmine Romero, plan to tie the knot next year.

He has this advice for anyone facing adversity: “Be patient with difficult times, and even when things may be getting worse for a little while, just be patient and stick it out. Because with time, things do get better.”

Read more here.

5 missing after Army helicopter reported down off coast of Hawaii

U.S. Coast Guard and Army officials were responding Wednesday morning to reports of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off the coast of Hawaii.

>> Read more trending news

The helicopter had five crew on board when it reportedly went down, Coast Guard officials said. Officials spotted a debris field just before 11:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near Oahu’s Kaena Point.

Russian surveillance plane spotted over Boston

An incredible photo taken Saturday showed a Russian surveillance plane flying over Boston.

>> Read more trending news

A photographer with The Boston Herald took the photo in South Boston and estimated the plane to be only about 3,600 feet high -- less than a mile above the ground and one-tenth as high as cruising altitude for most commercial flights.

The flight was sanctioned because of what is called the Open Skies Treaty, an international program that allows unarmed aerial surveillance flights over participating nations, Boston25News.com reported.

Russia and the United States are two of the 34 nations in the agreement.

The same Russian plane was spotted over Washington D.C. last week. It has been conducting missions based out of an Air force base in Ohio.

Guam releases fact sheet for imminent missile threat: 'Do not look at the flash or fireball'

Guam releases fact sheet for imminent missile threat: 'Do not look at the flash or fireball'Guam Homeland Security on Friday released guidelines for residents to prepare “for an imminent missile threat” as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continued to barbs.

>> Read more trending news

The release came just days after North Korea’s army said in a statement that it was reviewing a plan to attack the U.S. territory.

The two-page fact sheet suggests that residents build an emergency supply kit and create a plan in case of a strike.

“Make a list of potential concrete shelters near your home, workplace and school,” the sheet said. “Fallout shelters do not need to be specifically constructed for protecting against fallout.”

>> Related: Why is North Korea threatening Guam?

It went on to give specific advice for during and after a strike.

“Do not look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you,” the sheet said. “Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.”

During a news conference Friday, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said that despite the fiery rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang, the island is “safe and sound,” the Pacific Daily News reported.

“Everyone should continue to live their lives,” Calvo said. “There are no changes.”

>> Related: North Korea, Trump exchange threats

Still, he encouraged residents to prepare, despite the lack of an imminent threat, according to the Daily News.

Pyongyang’s state-run KCNA news agency said Thursday that the country’s army would finalize plans later this month to fire intermediate-range missiles from North Korea to near Guam, Reuters reported.

Trump told reporters gathered in New Jersey on Friday that Jong-un “will regret it fast” if he “utters one threat in the form of an overt threat … or does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that’s an American territory or an American ally.”

US drone strikes in Somalia hit al-Shabaab fighters 

The U.S. military said it conducted two drone strikes Thursday against al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia, Fox News reported. Somalia’s president said the strikes killed a high-level al-Shabaab leader, The Associated Press reported. 

>> Read more trending news

The strikes occurred near the Banadiir region of Somalia, according to a statement by the U.S. Africa Command. Results were still being assessed, according to the statement.

“We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabaab and help achieve stability and security throughout the region,” the statement said.

President Donald Trump authorized the military to conduct offensive operations against al-Shabaab, Fox News reported.

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed said the al-Shabaab leader had been part of a network responsible for planning and carrying out several bombings and assassinations in the country’s capital of Mogadishu, the AP reported.

The U.S. military is now conducting airstrikes in Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, Fox News reported.

Newspaper: China should stay neutral if N. Korea fires first on US

A state-run newspaper urged that China should remain neutral if North Korea follows through on its plans to fire missiles near Guam, Reuters reported Friday.

>> Read more trending news

The comments by the Global Times came after President Donald Trump raised the level of his rhetoric against North Korea on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation's Cuban missile crisis moment,” ING's chief Asia economist, Robert Carnell, told Reuters. "While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution."

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis..

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times said in an editorial. “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

Friday morning, Trump tweeted that U.S. military solutions were “locked and loaded” in case North Korea followed through on its threat.

Russian spy plane spotted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

A Russian surveillance Tu-154 jet that landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio on Wednesday remained at the Air Force base one day later.

The jet is expected to fly missions over the United States through Friday, a base spokesman said.

>> Read more trending news

The unarmed observation missions are permitted under the Open Skies treaty, which allows the United States and Russia to fly surveillance flights over each other’s territory to monitor compliance with arms control agreements, Wright-Patterson base spokesman Daryl Mayer said in a statement Thursday.

More than 1,200 Open Skies flights have been flown over the years, according to Daniel S. Gaffney, a Defense Threat Reduction Agency spokesman.

>> Related: Russian spy plane that flew over Washington, D.C., Wednesday trolled Trump

U.S. personnel were reportedly part of the flights.

Politico reported on Wednesday that the Russian surveillance plane flew over the Washington, D.C., area and near Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Donald Trump is on a working vacation, and later appeared to fly at low altitude over Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The website said the trip’s route “appeared to be an attempt to troll President Donald Trump.” The jet also flew over West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Gaffney said in an email Thursday that he could not confirm any locations the jet flew over until the mission is over.

Late Wednesday, Mayer confirmed the Russian plane was at Wright-Patterson.

“We had the standard notification in advance that it was going to happen, and it happened exactly the way it was supposed to,” he said.

The Russians have flown past Open Skies missions from the Miami Valley base, authorities have said.

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center, headquartered at Wright-Patterson, has a film processing facility for Open Skies missions.

Amid North Korea threat, old law prevents Washington state from preparing for nuclear disaster

As North Korea considers a strike against the U.S. territory of Guam, KIRO-TV is looking into the plans to protect Washington state residents.

>> Watch the news report here

KIRO-TV found that a law from the '80s is blocking the state's effort to prepare for the worst.

That law actually prevents Washington State Emergency Management from planning for a nuclear strike.

>> Look at these photos from inside North Korea

Lawmakers passed it as a symbolic end to the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

In the 1950s and '60s during the Cold War, Washington state had a clear plan and places to shelter – even bunkers built inside Seattle bridges – in case of nuclear disaster.

>> Trump improvised 'fire and fury' warning to North Korea: reports

But currently, with North Korea's escalating threats with nukes, few people know state law prevents planning for nuclear disaster.

A little-known 1984 state law states that "Comprehensive Emergency Management" does not mean preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of a nuclear attack.

>> Why is North Korea threatening Guam?

Washington state Sen. Mark Miloscia has been trying to repeal that old law, which he says enacted in Washington state during the Reagan era.

“I couldn’t believe how this thing could go on the books,” Miloscia said. “If we ever have to evacuate or relocate citizens due to a nuclear attack or an impending nuclear attack, right now, we can’t plan for that. It puts like a big stop order on any sort of planning we have to do to prepare for the unthinkable.”

>> North Korea, Trump exchange threats

Hawaii has a nuclear disaster plan which may include re-opening Cold War-era tunnels and shelters.

The message for lawmakers in Washington state is clear.

“I think there is, right now, a common-sense support for repealing this. We’ve just got to educate people that let’s do that soon,” Miloscia said.

>> Read more trending news

Miloscia knows something about nuclear preparedness. He was a B-52 bomber pilot during the Cold War.

He said lawmakers from both parties want to change the law.

Military dad surprises daughter with unexpected homecoming at zoo

A military dad’s surprise homecoming at a dolphin show is melting hearts across the country.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“Everything else disappeared when I saw her,” U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Joshua Flury told WLS.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Military mom hides pregnancy, surprises dad when he gets home 

Flury told his wife he’d be coming home within the week, and together they came up with a plan to surprise their 12-year-old daughter, Kristi.

>> Watch the clip here

His wife, April Flury, worked with the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois to coordinate the big surprise.

>> Read more trending news

Kristi thought it was just going to be her and her mom at the zoo earlier this month, but as she and her mom waited for the dolphin show to begin, she was shocked to hear an announcer welcome her dad home.

Kristi leaped into his arms as he emerged from his hiding place backstage.

Read more here.

Virginia native first black woman to serve as West Point First Captain

A Virginia native will be the first African-American woman to serve as West Point’s First Captain, the U.S. Military Academy Public Affairs Office announced Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

Simone Askew, 20, of Fairfax, will lead a 4,440-member Corps of Cadets, according to the announcement. This is the top leadership role for cadets; she will assume the post on Aug. 13, according to a statement by the Academy.

“It’s a great step for not only women but African-American women, because it shows that no matter what your sex, or your race, you can really do anything,” her sister, Nina Askew, told WRC. “There’s nothing that can hold you back.”

Askew is an international history major and currently leads 1,502 cadets as the Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II. She first set her sights on the Army when she was in just third grade. She saw midshipmen march into a Navy football game.

“She saw them all in formation and rose up and asked me, ‘What does it take to lead that?’” her mother, Pam Askew told WRC.

“Simone truly exemplifies our values of duty, honor, country. Her selection is a direct result of her hard work, dedication,and commitment to the Corps over the last three years,” said Brig. Gen. Steven W. Gilland, commandant of cadets. “I know Simone and the rest of our incredibly talented leaders within the Class of 2018 will provide exceptional leadership to the Corps of Cadets in the upcoming academic year.” 

Askew was president of her class at Fairfax High School, founder of the Black Student Union and captain of the volleyball team, her family told WRC.. She is currently a member of the Army West Point crew team and the recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership, according to the announcement.

She will graduate from West Point in 2018.

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