Local Soldier Comes Home to Recover - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/14/03

Local Soldier Comes Home to Recover

Local soldier Kevin Ward has made it home. It's been almost two months since the U.S. Army Ranger was hit by shrapnel from a bomb near Afghanistan. He was serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. He suffered numerous wounds, and is still recovering, but now he's back home with his family.

"We were in our safe house which even though things are downplayed a lot we get shot at by various things over there and I was walking through the compound and just happened to be in the one open area between everybody's tents and its the only one that's ever gotten in a compound and it had my name written all over it, and there's not much I could've done about it," says Kevin Ward, a U.S. Army Ranger.

Kevin said it looked like a falling star and it went off only three feet away from him. "It hit me and sent me flying through the air, I flew about ten feet in the air and landed and thought they'd blown off my foot so I was kinda mad, I never passed out or anything and I was sitting there thinking great now I'm not going to have a foot," Kevin said.

Kevin realized the attack might not be over, so he crawled until he could be pulled to safety. That's when Kevin realized his foot was fine but the shrapnel had pulverized his body. He says he had at least fifty holes across his body.

"He biggest one was probably about the size of a baseball and that was on the back of one of my hamstrings and it had my hamstring exposed. The road to recovery happened as fast as the explosion. Every time I went somewhere new they'd be like we've got this new guy with all these holes and they'd be like flex your hamstring and it was kinda like a freak show," Ward said.

Kevin was treated in a Hyperbarric Chamber. He was pressurized like he was under water and being fed oxygen to equal out his gases and heal his wounds. "They basically treated me like a burn patient, put me in that Hyperbarric Chamber and it probably sped my healing up by about two months," Ward said.

Today Kevin's wounds are healing nicely and he expects a full recovery. "Were pretty close, I've still got some nerves that are asleep, they aren't calling them dead yet just asleep so I'm waiting on them so I can walk normally one of these days and hopefully be able to run someday."

Kevin and his family consider his survival a miracle, as say it was clear God was watching over him.

Kevin has about two years of time left as a Ranger, but for now he'll have to work behind the scenes, from his base in Savannah, while he continues to recover. He wanted to say thank you, for all the support he's received while overseas and while recovering.

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