Friday, November 03, 2006

Coalition Causalities News For Friday, November, 03, 2006 A Grapeville, Westmoreland County, native seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq has been taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., for treatment. Spc. Joshua Humberger, 20, of the Army National Guard, was hurt Wednesday in Ashraf, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. A bomb detonated near an armored security vehicle he was in. Jessica Humberger said her husband's left leg was severely broken just below the knee and he had to have shrapnel removed from his stomach. Staff Sgt. Mike Thornton was scheduled to end his Army service by spring. And while he is still due out by March or April, it will be after nearly six months in recovery from second and third-degree burns to his knees, face and hands. Thornton, 23, and two of the other soldiers injured by one of five bombs that exploded around their vehicle received medical care at the Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Sgt. Michael B. Yuhasz, 31, son of Michael A. and Carol Yuhasz of Watkins Glen, suffered forehead lacerations, a broken shoulder and a cracked kneecap when his Humvee was flipped Oct. 11 by the explosion, his father said. Yuhasz, a 12-year Marine veteran, volunteered for his three tours in Iraq and had been in the country for only three weeks this time when his vehicle was bombed while he was on patrol near the Iraq-Syria border, his father said. Local soldiers are recovering from serious injuries Monday night. A roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in the town of Ashraf. Robert Kaminski Jr., 26, from Shaler, lost his right leg. He had volunteered for a hazardous nighttime patrol with his unit, the Army Guards 107th Field Artillery based in Pittsburgh. Kaminski was wounded when his patrol vehicle ran over a stretch of booby-trapped highway in Iraq. A soldier from Vancouver was injured in Iraq when a mortar shell hit Stryker vehicle. Twenty-eight-year-old Staff Sergeant John P. Kaiser lost his right eye and suffered a broken jaw and other facial bones, according to military officials. He is recovering in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He's a member of the Fort Lewis Stryker brigade Kyle Burleson, 23, a specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division at the time he was shot, was top gunner in a Humvee, a position woefully exposed to snipers. A terrorist targeted him during a firefight in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 18, 2004. He was shot in his left cheek. The bullet traversed his neck, shattering vertebrae and nerves. His injuries forced his medical discharge from the Army. Kyle Earl, 20, was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq's Al Anbar Province west of Baghdad. The exact nature and severity of his injuries remained unclear. Earl was driving a Humvee in a convoy Tuesday morning when an improvised explosive device was detonated beneath the vehicle. Of the five Marines in the Humvee, Earl was the most seriously injured A young man from Northumberland County was almost killed in an attack in Iraq. Private First Class Leroy Clark, 22, from Shamokin, was injured when the armored vehicle he was driving was hit by an road-side bomb. It happened Saturday near Baghdad. Clark's family said he was on his way to secure the scene of another explosion in the same area. Because of that first attack a medevac unit was already on the scene and quickly took Clark to a hospital in Iraq. Clark had several large piece of shrapnel in his leg. One hit an artery but he is supposed to make a full recovery. Lance Cpl. Chris Traxson, 26, a Marine reservist with the 1st Battalion based in Detroit, suffered second-degree and third-degree burns on 55 percent of his body after his military vehicle was attacked in Iraq, said Ryan James, communication director for 3rd District Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers. Traxson was evacuated by helicopter and taken to a hospital in Fallujah and then transferred to a hospital in Balad, James said. Lance Cpl. Christopher Charette, a Marine assigned to Dam Security Unit 3, sustained a gunshot wound to his left shoulder and left hand while conducting combat operations against anti-Iraqi forces in the Al Anbar Province. Pvt. 1st Class Mark Andrew Fortune, from New Hope, was injured in Iraq Oct. 22 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his six-man squad. the Marine has shrapnel lodged in his abdomen, back and left arm, in addition to a broken pelvis. Pieces of metal also exited his stomach. For more than a month, Daniel Tallouzi has laid comatose in a Washington, D.C., hospital. shrapnel from a mortar attack in Iraq has been lodged in his brain. 26-year-old Lance Cpl. Chris Traxson was air-evacuated from Fallujah, Iraq, after suffering second- and third-degree burns on more than half his body. Traxson’s burns were concentrated on his lower extremities, his brother Jason said. Lance Cpl. Thomas “Cody” Surber, 20, of the Marines Corps 2/8 Echo Co., 4th Platoon, was on foot patrol with his fellow Marines in the Al Anbar province region of Iraq on Oct. 22 when the attack occurred, according to his parents. His right foot was amputated at the ankle, according to the Surbers. His left foot also was injured, but remains intact. However, it will need additional surgery, they said. Diana Robinson's son Anthony Buckheit was serving in Iraq when she received a phone call from the military. "I got a phone call at 5:30 in the morning saying my son had been hit by in a Bradley. The pictures I got were from the hospital of him with blood all over his face. He had 15 stitches in face in split his face open", says Diana Robinson. Justin Davis was shot in the neck while on patron in Iraq on September 15th. Major Matthew Sprague was wounded in a Sept. 4 friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. Sprague's company were scattered on the hillside, just after dawn, that morning. The Canadian troops were burning garbage, which attracted the American aircraft's fire for a few short but deadly seconds. Sprague had a gaping wound in his head and shrapnel in his back, shoulder and buttocks. 2nd Lt. Andrew Kinard and three other Marines had been on patrol in western Iraq. He either stepped on or was struck in the lower body with what's called an Improvised Explosive Device, or IED, based on family accounts. He suffered severe pelvic fragmentation and leg injuries, said his father William Gordon of Sweet Valley said his son, Corporal William Gordon, Jr. was traveling in a Humvee when a roadside bomb exploded. He suffered a broken jaw and a broken shoulder. He is being treated at a hospital in Afghanistan and will be moved to a hospital in Germany soon. Lance Cpl. Colin Smith was shot in the head while on patrol with his unit in Iraq and flown to a hospital in Germany, where he has been placed on life support, family members said. An Avon Lake Marine serving in Iraq suffered severe head injuries in Fallujah, according to officials. Colin Smith, 19, was flown to Germany for treatment and is in critical condition. The Department of Defense declined to comment yesterday. Sgt. Cristian Valle, 23, was with his company stationed in Badal, Iraq, was investigating a kidnapping when a car barreled toward him. The next thing he knew, he was on the ground. Valle lost his legs as a result of that gruesome attack a year ago. His left leg was amputated above the knee and his right leg below the knee. He now relies on prosthetic legs for mobility. An Idaho State Police trooper who started his career at the Twin Falls office was injured this week while serving in Iraq. Trooper Eric Stroh has been sent to Germany for treatment after his vehicle was caught in the explosion from an improvised explosive device. Stroh was deployed out of Hayden with the 321 Engineer Division of the Army Reserves. Death flitted past Cpl. William Gordon Jr., 26, in Afghanistan, nudging the six-year Army veteran just enough to break his jaw, shoulder and arm. The younger Gordon, a 2000 graduate of West Side Area Vo-Tech, “was in a Humvee when a roadside bomb exploded, and it was pretty bad,” his dad said Wednesday afternoon. The good news was that his son had been stabilized, upgraded to “serious” condition, and flown to Germany. “They expect a full recovery.” The bad news: Though details were still sketchy, early reports said three soldiers were killed in the attack. Former U.S. Marine and Purple Heart recipient John Konopka was injured June 29, 2005 by an IED (insurgent explosive device) while his unit was conducting patrols outside of Falujah, Iraq. The device, in the form of a roadside bomb, exploded with pieces of it hitting him in the face. As a result he received a laceration and burns to his face and trauma to his left eardrum. Larry “Butch” Perry and two Marines were on the road back from Haditha, northwest of Baghdad, the previous day when an improvised explosive device detonated. “I’m the only one that lived,” Butch told his mother. Butch suffered numerous wounds, from cuts and abrasions to broken bones, burns and internal injuries. The military doctor was straightforward with Robin. “He said ‘I’m not going to lie to you. His elbow is shattered, his leg has sustained terrible wounds,’” she said. “The left side of his face has burns, cuts and abrasions. He has a broken back, arm, broken ribs, a chest tube … and his spleen was removed,” she said. Remarkably, Butch suffered no other internal injuries. “On his left leg, his kneecap is fractured and dislocated. From his knee to his ankle, all the skin is gone and there’s a big hole in the back of his leg,” she said. The doctors told the Perrys that Butch has a long way to go. He can wiggle his fingers and toes, but there are no guarantees that he will keep his leg. Two Utah soldiers were injured near Ramadi, Iraq, on Monday when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. Paul Laplant, of Ogden, and Daniel Baerga, of Bountiful, suffered minor injuries in the explosion and have returned to duty. The Utahns are part of the Idaho-based 321st Engineering Battalion. A sniper’s bullet somehow flew barely under 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John McClellan’s helmet, hitting just above his left ear. It severed facial nerves and parts of his ear, ripped a hole in the lower section of his skull and brain, and tore its way out through the back of his neck. But it missed his carotid artery by the thickness of a few sheets of paper. And it missed vital sections of his brain. It missed his vision and vocal controls, too. Doctors told his family that 99 of 100 patients with similar injuries die. But he was the other one Sgt. Jeffrey Combs Jr. 22, lost his left arm after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb Aug. 31 in Fallujah. Army Specialist Greg Brooks is a victim of a roadside bomb and is now living with a traumatic brain injury. Riding in the super armored "buffalo," the Indiana National Guard Soldier survived 39 roadside bomb blasts. But number 40 was more devastating. "Once I got out and started to walk that's when I realized I had a problem with balance." At the Indianapolis Roudebush VA Medical Center he has relearned how to walk and talk. "I do have a brain injury, so I'm not really sure what my legs are doing when I'm walking," Specialist Brooks said. Sometimes just sitting is difficult. In physical therapy he tries to keep centered with his eyes closed. But each time he misses, drifting left. But he says he does see progress. "Used to be when I would close my eyes I would black out and now I can do it." Everyday he suffers the massive headache brought on by the blast nearly a year ago. He has lost hearing in one ear and some feeling. His world is a constant spin of dizziness. "It doesn't stop. It's like the headache, it's everyday. Right now the room is spinning." Staff Sgt. Daniel Barnes lost portions of both of his legs when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Humvee in Iraq. U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas "Nick" S. Helfferich, 21. was wounded March 7 when his armor-plated Humvee drove over a bomb planted in the road, killing the driver. Helfferich was thrown from the vehicle and suffered five broken ribs, a hip fracture, two broken vertebrae, a lacerated liver, a ruptured eardrum, a concussion and assorted cuts and bruises, according to his parents.


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