Pre-Raw reception

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March 12, 2007

There was a special reception before tonight's live Raw in Washington D.C. Numerous  American soldiers from the Walter Reed Medical facility, as well as those from the Wounded Warriors program, came to the Verizon Center for refreshments and a chance to meet some of their favorite Superstars.

One of the soldiers on hand was Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson, a 12-year Marine Corps veteran. Wilson, who is a long time WWE fan, has been receiving treatment at Walter Reed after being involved in an IED explosion on Nov. 14.

"There was four of us total in the vehicle; three guys were killed, I was the only one that lived," said Wilson. "My left leg was amputated, my right femur was broken, my right ankle was shattered. I broke my ribs, punctured one lung, broke my back, broke both my arms, messed my left hand up bad, shattered my whole hand, so I've got little metal rods in this hand now," Wilson said holding up his left hand.

Wilson was joined by his son Marcus Jr., also a huge WWE fan, and arrived at the reception in his wheelchair. However, Wilson got out of the wheelchair to pose for pictures with one of his favorite Superstars, Ron Simmons.

"That was a huge moment for me because I've been a fan of his for years," Wilson said with a huge smile. "He was the first African-American WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and I watch for him every week on TV just to say that one word: ‘DAMN!'"

The last time WWE was in town, Wilson was unable to attend because he was still in the hospital. His family, along with his own desire to make it to the show, helped motivate him through his rehabilitation.

However, WWE was just as important to him while serving in the Middle East.

"When WWE went to Afghanistan, I was over there and they were supposed to go to my base, and I missed it," said Wilson. "I was so disappointed! It was so bad that even though I was still in a war zone, I was still trying to catch helicopter flight to go to a different base so I could see them," he continued.

But the soldier also realized the importance, and dangers of WWE Superstars visiting troops stationed across the world.

"I think it's great WWE performs for the troops, even though it's not safe in some areas," Wilson went on. "People see it on TV and think it's safe, and that the WWE Superstars and staff are confined to one area where they can't be touched. It's not safe there. They're putting their lives on the line just to go over there and entertain us. I really respect that."

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