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Injured area soldiers back in the United States
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INJURED SOLDIERS

Injured area soldiers back in the United States

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Three Iowa Army National Guard soldiers injured when insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last month have returned to the United States.

Two of the soldiers, Spc. Andrew Zimmerman, 20, of Camanche, Iowa, and Pfc. Caleb J. Redell, 22, of Erie, Ill., are at Brooke Army Medical Center, near San Antonio, Texas.

Spc. Adam P. Eilers, 23, of Garber, Iowa, is at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, outside Washington, D.C., Col. Gregory Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard said.

The soldiers, members of Dubuque-based Company A of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, were on patrol Feb. 21 when the the IED exploded near their armored vehicle. Redell was driving.

Elise Redell said her son arrived in Texas on March 1.

She reports that her son is in good spirits despite a long list of injuries received in the blast. He has fractures to his neck, back and jaw, and broken bones in an arm and leg, but no neurological damage. He is expected to be at Brooke Army Medical Center for four to six months.

“He is a very lucky young man,” she said.

Redell’s attitude also got a boost when he was moved out of the intensive care unit last week. and into a room he shares with Zimmerman, Elise Redell said.

“They had a little bit of time to talk,” she said, explaining that Caleb doesn’t remember the explosion. “I think that helped him.”

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