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tonight on "nightline" -- extreme survival. you think you're cold. with the country in a record chill, we head to alaska where freezing temperatures are a way of life. no matches, no problem. these wilderness experts show us how to make the best with the bear essentials. >> if you have ability to build a fire that is going to buy you a lot of time. >> plus american valor, a holiday stoert of love ary of l forgiveness. he was a war hero but couldn't put it behind him. >> it replayed in my head. i don't know why. >> tonight a meeting ten years in the making. two soldiers finally finding
their way home. ♪ ♪ ♪ baby i want you >> beyonce shocks the music world with a surprise album release, dropping 17 new videos. seems the world is drunk in love with beyonce. >> announcer: keep it right a subaru... ...are the hands that do good things for the whole community: the environment, seniors, kids, and animals. that's why we created the share the love event. by the end of this year, the total donated by subaru could reach 35 million dollars. you get a great deal on a new subaru. we'll donate 250 dollars to a choice of charities that benefit your community. it feels good to be a helping hand. of happier holidays. time to enchant, delight and amaze. safeway will help you gather everyone 'round. a smoked, shank half ham is only 99 cents a pound.
with starbucks at $6.99, top it off with coffee-mate... just $2.79 for all kinds of flavors. turns out this season less is really so much more. so make your holiday merrier than ever before. safeway. ingredients for life. good evening. thank you for joining us. the temperature, single digits. the food whatever they can forage. the shelter, nonexistent. but for the alaska can alaskans where the heart is and surviving is the adventure of a lifetime. neil karlinski headed out with the survival experts showing us what it means to brave the
elements. >> reporter: we are mushing sled dogs across the alaskan wilderness, far from the nearest city. >> guys, hold up! >> reporter: no cars, no food, no shelter spend a lot of the time trying to slow the dogs down. >> we have come to talkeetna, alaska to find out firsthand is it possible to survive like this. our guide, let's face it in my case, lifeguards. 26-year-old iditarod champion, unstoppable outdoorsman, and 36-year-old, eddie, native alaska born marathon runner and survival expert. >> for eddie, i and alaskans, the wilderness is our home. >> reporter: over 48 hours they take us inside their world where building shelters from scratch, starting fires without matches, even building snowshoes from tree branches is no big deal. >> i would be far more afraid
trying to spend a week on my own in new york than i would a week on my own in alaska. >> nice and cold. >> reporter: dallas and eddie are two in a motley crue of outdoor survival elite who have put their life skills on the line for the "national geographic" reality show, ultimate survival, alaska. >> onetouchest -- toughest competition thousands in the world. >> reporter: in the show, teams are dropped into the middle of the alaskan outback with the gear they can carry and often impressive ingenuity to get them out. but in every episode we saw it seems that someone is always on the verge of catastrophe. not tv catastrophe, but real life danger. in one episode, a contestant named jimmy is feared drowned in a raging river after his boat
tips over. >> is any of that set up. you guys end up in situations looks look you are about to die on television. the show intentionally put us in dangerous places. the objective of the show. wasn't to put us in a national park with a paved sidewalk. was it intentional that we got in a really bad situations, no. we were put in an element where that was a possibility. very real possibility. >> in another episode, a contestant falls off his dog sled. something that during my own sled dog training, dallas told me was nearly impossible to recover from. >> on the show the guy falls off. its that real? >> definitely not planned. you are never going to intentionally lose a dog team. that its worst case. dogs they love to run. they're not going to stop for you. fortunately in that case he was able to catch up with the dog team on foot. which is a rare feat. >> sure enough, our own experience wasn't all smooth sailing. >> whoa. you all right?
>> yeah. >> you kind of have to walk duck footed in snowshoes. >> snowshoeing with dallas and eddie, they told us that staying warm and having something to drink is critical. >> the key right? warm the core. >> heat people from the outside in. fire, warm clothes et cetera. but then, think if you drink something hot, all of a sudden you are burning up. >> reporter: we stomped on snow to clear an area to make a fire and gathered wood with a fold-out saw. even when everything is soaking wet they showed me, birch bark and moss which are perfect for getting a fire started. >> this mossy stuff. use that to start a fire. >> no matches, no lighter, no problem. >> i will smear chap stick into the cotton ball. it is going to act just look a candle. >> eddie keeps chap stick and cotton balls on him at all times. sound strange until you add sparks. >> there it goes.
both carry a simple flint to scrape with a trusty knife. soon, we are melting snow over a raging fire. we add pine needles for flavor, a sort of back woods tea. >> if you put thissen a c ein a starbuck's, people would pay $5 for it. not saying much about this, but people. >> busy showing us how to make a snowshoe from branches as the fire was getting started. snowshoes are critical for walking through deep snow. on the dog sled i learn the art of mushing from dallas. one of the best in the business. >> the dogs want to go. all i can do to slow them down especially on the turns. doing really well for a first time dog musher. takes it to it pretty naturally. >> reporter: on ultimate survival alaska they're constantly on the move over mountains, across rivers, all on a tiny supply of uncooked rice and beans. supplied by the show and plus whatever they can catch.
dallas and eddie build a solid shelter in the trees for us. like it is nothing. as night falls on our adventure, eddie shows me his survival necklace. >> all way want to have ape leatherman. >> you have footools. >> knife sharpener. miniled light. >> the flint. >> eddie starts a chapstick and cotton ball fire. >> in terms of survival skills, this is number one. being able to start a fire. >> absolutely. if you have ability to build a fire that is going to buy you a lot of time. awe off sitting in the glow of a warm fire on a freezing night, eating beans and rice from melted snow, everything tasted good, and anything seemed possible for these two. for them this series is a way to show off their reality. >> troupe survivor, somebody scan go into the wood with a knife and flint, and, stay there as long as he wants.
>> reporte >> a new season of ultimate survival alaska premiere, sunday, december 15 on national gee graphic channel. next up, they fought a battle side by side. ten years later we are there for the emotional reunion. >> announcer: abc news, "nightline," brought to you by bp. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger.
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of welcoming home the men and women who have been serving the country overseas. tonight, we celebrate two war heroes. for ten years, abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz has been following their story and now she brings ace final moving homecoming for our series american valor. even today, it haunts them. staff sergeant robert miltonberger and specialist thomas young had been in iraq five days. in april 2004, rolling unprotected into one of the worst street fights of the iraq war. >> we see the -- the charlie company truck just like the one we were riding in, rode down the road to us. four flat tires. engine on fire.
>> their truck too came under withering fire. but what miltonberger did next would leave him with a silver star. >> i get the first casualty guy right next to me got hit. >> it was carnage. >> kept going. two soldiers got wounded. one was an ankle. the other one i couldn't see the wound. then i find the spot in his back. so i stick a bandage down there. all the time doing this, i got my hand on the -- on the other wound. the second chest wound. >> reporter: next to him, thomas young. >> he kept saying i'm pair litzelitz litz -- paralyzed. >> reporter: to save his life, he felt he needed to tell a lie. i was look no, you are not. everybody is laying on him. there was nobody laying on him. >> reporter: indeed no one laying across young's legs. he was paralyzed. a bullet severed his spine.
♪ i speak for a man who gave for this land ♪ >> reporter: he and miltonberger never saw one another after that terrible day in baghdad, and desfd despite his disability. young would stay active. he married. and threw himself into the an type war movement. but as the it turns out, not all wound are physical. what do you still think of april 4th? >> about two or three times a week. >> reporter: when i spoke with miltonberger, eight months after the battle, despite receiving a silver star for his life saving actions that day, he could not shake the guilt for walking away when young had not. when you think about it, what do you think about? >> the soldiers that were with
me that got hurt. just like they replayed the thing in my head. yeah. i don't know why. >> reporter: miltonberger retired from the army and went back to his home deep in the louisiana bayou. i caught up with him when his house was destroyed by a hurricane. shortly after he returned from war. among the items that survived the storm -- the silver star. >> i don't tell people i got a silver star. my brother-in-law, brian told me at work. i got a silver star. my wife tells him. i don't tell him. what do you say when they ask about it? >> yeah, i got one. >> reporter: end of conversation. as miltonberger tried to put the war behind him, young became the focus of the powerful 2007 documentary body of war. >> all of a sudden, my body just went completely numb.
i couldn't feel anything. >> but young's life would soon get much worse. a pulmonary embollism took even more of his mobility. by march of this year, after talks with his new wife and family, he made an astonishing decision. he was ready to die. word spread quickly among those with whom he had served. a final reunion was suggested. thomas young wanted to see one of those from his past. the man who saved his life. robert miltonberger. so once again, we paid a visit to miltonberger. he was reluctant to make the philanthropist to s trip to see young, obsessed with the lie he had told. >> i think it will be -- good for robert to go. and finally get rid of some of
his guilt. that he carries about this. >> i know this family so well, by now. what robert hides. how it has aged him. and how bechher tenderness has made it possible for this soldier to do the hardest thing he has ever done. >> it brings up emotions that you don't want to feel anymore. >> heading to portland, she hopes this reunion, arranged by abc news, will make even a small difference. >> i love him. if he hurts, i hurt. i just want him to be as happy as possible. waiting for them in portland is young and his wife claudia. >> we need to catch up on homeland, i guess. >> the good news is that young has had a change of heart. he no longer wants to die. he wants to fight. >> i just want to spend as much time as i can with my -- with my current wife, claudia.
if it weren't for her, i would have -- done myself in a long time ago. >> claudia has lovingly made their apartment their lives as rich as possible. >> we just want to hang out and chill and have a good time and watch movies. we want to be as normal as anybody else. >> as we arrive at the young's address, miltonberger is bracing himself for what he will see, what he will feel. >> i am trying to keep the emotions down't i don't know what to expect. i am kind of excited. >> hello. >> hello. >> please come in. >> thank you. >> hi. >> hi, nice to meet you. >> come all the way back. straight back and to the right. >> okay. >> reporter: the reunion is slow and awkward at first. the two men say little.
it is young who finally moves the conversation telling miltonberger what he has wanted to say for so long. >> i -- bear no grudge against you. >> i lied to you. >> you were just -- trying to -- to help me -- have me not do something worse. >> i was feeling guilty because i didn't get shot in the truck. >> oh, man. >> reporter: for the wives it is almost too much. >> it's very good to see you. thank you for doing this. >> reporter: the emotion comes out when weep all sit do all si together. miltonberger's got was deeper than i ever suspected. >> you thought you would walk in here and say it is your fault. >> no, pull a gun out from underneath and shoot me. >> reporter: did you think that? that's how deep that goes? why would he shoot you? >> i just think the worst every time. any situation.
>> i would never shoot anybody. >> i won't either. >> much less you. >> reporter: belinda, did you know he was thinking that? >> because he feels like he should have protected them. >> there is a reason that thomas young wanted this reunion. >> i have the deepest and the most respect for -- for robert mullenberger. he its one of my heroes. >> in this moment, he and claudia are trying to give miltonberger back the gift of life that he gave them when he saved young almost ten years ago. >> i wouldn't have known him if it wasn't for you. this is never going to go away for you. >> oh, no, no. i don't think it goes away for any of them. >> reporter: miltonberger does not really want the memories to go away. he believes it would dishonor those who died. those who lie wounded. but maybe -- just maybe -- this
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christmas came early for beyonce fans on tonight's feed frenzy. ♪ >> who need promotion, not beyonce. add midnight last night she quietly dropped a brand new album with 17 music videos poised to become viral gold. check out these incredible looks as she takes on impossible standard. a list of collaborators has a lot of boldfaced names. you could say the self titled album is really a family affair. baby blue making her day but appearance in blue. a song written just for her. and husband jay-z getting a smooch in "drunken