While the war seems far away for most of us, for others right here on the South Plains what's happening overseas is very close to home. The Ward family of Lubbock monitors the war on terrorism daily, as their eldest son Kevin is one of the soldiers fighting. Just a few days before Christmas the Ward family got word Kevin had been injured, at first all they knew was that the injuries weren't life threatening, then they had to wait for the 29 year-old to call.
Sandra Ward is Kevin's mother and says it's hard since they don't know exactly where Kevin is, "We never knew or have known exactly where Kevin was nor have we ever known where he is the whole time with the Enduring Freedom Campaign, we've known the country but nothing else about his location. We were notified on Friday night December 20th that he had sustained wounds, that were not life threatening and that's about all we knew until the next day."
Traci Ward is Kevin's sister-in-law and explains her reactions when she heard the news, "He called and said Kevin's been injured and my heart just dropped cause they can't tell you anything and I said what do you mean he's been injured, well he's been injured."
Sandra said they weren't sure about anything until Kevin finally called, "And we just didn't know, we didn't know for hours until finally he called and it was just so wonderful to hear his voice."
Sandra and Ron Ward never know when their going to hear from Kevin, but every time he calls it's a relief. Since he's been a part of Operation Enduring Freedom, they know very little about his whereabouts or what he does. Kevin is a U.S. Army Ranger, part of an elite fighting force.
Kevin's father Ron understands why they don't always know what's going on with their son, "Since they are in the elite category they are also on the strike force also the ones that goes in first and either takes care of business or stirs up a hornets nest which ever the situation might be, so in that there's a more emptiness and knowing about what they are into."
The family believes that it was a work of God, because as Kevin's brother Kurtis Ward explains, if he was just a few feet closer it may have been a different outcome, "Where they were at he was basically hit by a mortar that was about 10 feet away from him when it hit and luckily he saw it out of the corner of his eye and kinda turned away from him and if he didn't it might of hit him in the from side of the body and he might not be alive period."
But he is alive and doing well. Kevin suffered numerous injuries, and has already undergone five surgeries. According to his doctors his legs are completely bandaged, basically pulverized.
Sandra says the wounds could have been worse, "He says each one of the wounds is a miracle because none of the shrapnel actually severed nerves or blood vessels. He said if you've talk to the big man upstairs you need to say a big things because its thanks to him and his watchful care that I'm here today and that was just awesome to hear him say that."
Traci says, "You never know what's going to happen and you can't take it for granted, you just can't, life's too short."
Kevin is a graduate of Monterey High School and Texas Tech University. They saw him in August but are hoping he'll be coming home in the next few weeks to recover. At this point they know Kevin is in the U.S. but his recovery will determine if he gets to come or not.