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Injured in Afghanistan, Kyle Malin wants a chance to say Thanks

Every once in a while, life gets going so fast it's hard to sit back and remember what you missed -- especially when life throws a big old curveball and you have to rely on the help of others just to make it through. That's something the Malin family knows all too well.

Last July 12 Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Malin, a 2003 graduate of Farmington High School, lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. It was July 12 when the lives of his wife, Alicia, his kids, and his parents, Jon and Deb Malin, completely changed.

Since returning to the US last summer, Kyle has been going through surgeries and extensive physical therapy, Jon said. The family has been living on base at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, while Kyle has been receiving care at The Intrepid Center, near the Sam Houston Medical Center.

He's done a lot of therapy,. Kyle's gradually getting used to using prosthetic legs and feet. He's walking a little further every day. He's gaining weight. But most importantly, Kyle's in good spirits, his dad said.

"I think he's doing really good. I've never really talked to him when he's been down," Jon said. "Not about the fact that he lost his legs, at least. He just doesn't have seemed to have looked back, and I'm kind of amazed by that."

With his daily rehab schedule, it's been hard for Kyle and his family to come back to Minnesota, but finally, nearly a year after the explosion, Kyle and Alicia and their sons are coming back for a visit. And to say thank you.

Thank you

Last fall, friends rallied around the Malins, even while Kyle was still laid up in the hospital in Texas. A big fundraiser was held with a silent auction and golf outing. There were people who brought food for the family, friends and relatives who watched Kyle and Alicia's sons while Alicia, Deb and Jon went to Kyle's hospital bedside.

When Kyle began his rehab, Alicia and the boys went back to base. And before long, days had turned into months.

But Deb and Jon didn't forget what folks in Farmington and Lakeville did for their son, and neither did Kyle. So to say thank you, for Kyle to even just meet some of those who reached out to him and his family, they're holding an open house at the Lakeville VFW Club. The open house will be held from 5-8 p.m., Saturday, June 25 and is open to the public.

"We're just doing that, for the most part, for people to say hello to Kyle, and for us to say thank you," Jon said. "We figured our house would be too small for something like that."

On Monday, June 27, Kyle will be honored at the Minnesota Twins game, as well. He's been asked to raise the U.S. flag at the beginning of the game.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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