WICHITA — An American bald eagle named Spirit will be released on the banks of the Arkansas River on Saturday in honor of two Wichita soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two teenage boys found the sick eagle on the ground near Cheney. They called Ken Lockwood with Eagle Valley Raptor Center, who has spent the past two months getting care for the bird and helping it regain strength so it can fly.
When found, the bird suffered from lead poisoning, which had blinded it. It has since regained its sight.
The events Saturday will start at 11 a.m. at the Mid-America Indian Center, 650 N. Seneca, with a screening of the film "American Eagle." It will be shown again at 12:30 p.m.
At 1:45 p.m., two Native American elders will bless the eagle and the families of Sgt. Eric Nettleton and Spcl. Thomas Moffitt, both of Wichita. Those attending the event will then walk west across Seneca to the banks of the Arkansas River for the release, which will take place at about 2 p.m.
The public is invited to attend all of the events.