Reported By Forrest Sanders
The bald eagle is a symbol of freedom, and a Woodlawn family had the privilege of seeing an eagle set free after first helping to nurse it back to health.
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"We're just really proud to be Screaming Eagles and show it every way we can," said Terri Caldwell.
The crowd gathered Friday, cameras ready, all watching and waiting for the eagle to be sent back into the wild. It's a story that started last month, when 13-year-old Payten Caldwell went running toward the creek outside her home and found an injured bald eagle.
With harsh cold weather on the way, Peyton and her mother grabbed a net and a blanket and carefully carried the eagle to their barn.
"I was afraid she wasn't going to make it," Peyton said.
The next day, the Caldwells put the eagle in the care of Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
The moment the Caldwell family had been waiting for finally arrived Friday.
The gate opened, a few seconds passed, and then the eagle took off.
"It's just exhilarating," said Terri Caldwell. "It's just amazing to see something like that. It's a good feeling. I feel like we really did something good."
"I felt really good that it's safe and back to its habitat," Peyton said.
The eagle perched itself on a branch over the Caldwell farm, leaving a crowd to watch and admire.
It was a special symbol for the Caldwell family, as Peyton's father is Lt. Col. Jason Caldwell, an Iraq War veteran with the Screaming Eagles.
As the eagle took flight, headed back home to the wild, the Caldwells were left with a sight they'll always remember.
"To go from she couldn't get off the ground or fly and wet to just
she was just so beautiful," Terri Caldwell said.
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