Holbrook's Keith Zeier Says The Key Is To Stay Positive And Keep Busy

HOLBROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Many of the people severely wounded in the Boston explosions lost arms and legs and have a long recovery ahead.

A local wounded warrior shared his message of hope Wednesday for the survivors of the bombings, especially those who lost limbs in the attack.

“My heart just breaks for them. I do know what they’re going through,” Keith Zeier told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

Zeier, of Holbrook, lost his leg and suffered traumatic brain injury during a bombing in Iraq, where he served as a reconnaissance Marine. He said the recovery process the victims in Boston face may be even harder because he knew of the risks of joining the Marines.

“I volunteered to go into the military. These people were running and accomplishing their goals and their families were supporting them, and out of the blue,” Zeier said.

Zeier said along with recovering from the physical injuries from the blast, the psychological challenges the survivors face can be even more daunting.

“I think the biggest thing is…the mental aspect of it is trying to get over the whole situation. There’s gonna be kind of almost shock and it’s going to take a lot of time to digest. For me it took a few years to fully heal and deal with my situation,” Zeier said.

He said the key is to stay positive and busy, which he’s taken to a whole new level.

Hsu first met Zeier back in January when he and several other climbers barely survived an avalanche that sent them plunging more than 800 feet down Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

They had made the climb to raise money for charity. He said his heart is with those just starting their recovery in Boston and offered this advice:

“Not live life in fear, embrace it and really just push forward. Look at it as just another test of character. Everyone goes through struggles in life that they think that they’re never going to recover or bounce back from,” Zeier said.

But Zeier said with a strong support system of family and friends and medical experts, the survivors will bounce back.

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