09/25/06 — Soldier's Steelers dream comes true in Washington

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Soldier's Steelers dream comes true in Washington

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 25, 2006 1:48 PM

Derek Drew, an Army staff sergeant with family ties in Goldsboro, has fulfilled his dream of meeting his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, his mother said.

Drew was hospitalized for several months at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. after being injured in a roadside bomb while deployed in Iraq. In February, he visited his family in Wayne County to celebrate his son's birthday before returning to the hospital to complete his recuperation.

At the time, he told how happy he was that the Steelers were in the Super Bowl and as happy as their win made him, it could be topped by the opportunity to meet them.

Drew's mother, Kathy Drew, a fourth-grade teacher at Spring Creek Elementary School, ran interference for her son, writing letters telling of her son's situation.

"I wrote to them before they visited the President telling them about Derek and asking them if they could please stop by Walter Reed and visit him," she said. "I enclosed a copy in each of the six letters I sent to some of the players and (coach) Bill Cowher, highlighting what was written in the News-Argus about (Derek) and the Steelers."

They called soon after and made sure Drew was available, she said, because they "wanted to meet the man behind all of the letters."

Mrs. Drew said it would be the highlight of the time her son spent in the hospital.

Drew has since also meet the president and vice-president. His medical situation also continues to improve.

"He had surgery last week to remove scar tissue from his leg," Mrs. Drew said. "Doctors also removed one of the plates from his leg. He is progressing very nicely."

Currently stationed at Walter Reed, Drew will soon reunite with his family -- wife Michelle and children D.J. and Kyara -- for the first time in over a year when they move there to live.