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I Forge Iron

Spc Harris L Wooldridge


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I have issued this information on a limited basis but Glenn asked that I post it here:

My soldier son won't have to worry about Iraq's sandstorms for a while. His mine sweeper vehicle hit a buried IED last Tuesday so he is now in Georgia - recuperating from two broken legs, a broken arm and shrapnel wounds. My wife is there now and I plan to see him soon. We are thankful his injuries are not worse and he shows his Purple Heart to everyone who stops by. Fortunately, he called us from the Green Zone with the first report or else they would have probably been treating both his mom and I for heart attacks. They are predicting recovery for him but we are keeping fingers and all else crossed in the fervent hope he'll walk normally - as I'm convinced he'll set off airport scanners for the rest of his life.

He sees himself as a professional soldier and this incident as a temporary bump in the road to his career in the Army. We simply hope his right leg heals properly as it is a real mess. I must also say that the armored vehicle (a Husky) did its job - his buddies estimated the charge was equivalent to 100 lbs of TNT. Must have been quite a bang - he was knocked out for about 5 minutes from the blast but thankfully, his head and torso were not visibly injured. I hope we can get him to BAMC soon as that is only about 15 minutes away from our home.

Update - he will be in long hours of surgery on the 14th to fix his legs. This is the first time in 28 years that my wife and I are not together for Valentine's Day but I'm surely glad she is there with him.

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Sorry to hear about this accident, unfortunately it is a sad reality of war, but on the bright side there are no where near the casualty's of war as there always was through out history.
Be sure to tell him that we are thankful for his service and praying for his speedy and complete recovery.


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I would like to thank your son for his service to our fine country. We will pray that his surgery will go well and for a full recovery.

We need to keep all of our soldiers in our prayers. They are having to spend too much time away from home. My son is home on leave to be married this Saturday. He is due to go back to Iraq sometime between April and July.

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Hollis, GOD is good, ALL the time! Harris will be in my prayers until he well and safely home. You have raised some outstanding young men, I know you and your wife a very proud of them. Please tell your son he is being prayed for daily, and thank him for his sevice to this great land we live in.

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Wooldridge Family,
My vocabulary could never begin to describe my appreciation for men and women like your son who stand in harms way every day as proxy for all of us who live in this country.
Having experienced a similar situation as yours, I am aware of the huge burden of stress which is also placed on his family

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Hollis-Hope for a speedy and full recovery for your son. Sorry he has had to experience this injury and the aftermath while doing his duty on behalf of our nation. Sorry for those others that were lost in this incident and indeed are lost most every day. My "baby" sister leaves for Afghanistan soon.

My heart goes out to you and yours.

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Thanks to all for the prayers and best wishes...

Update on the 14th - He made it through 9 hours of surgery and is in a lot of pain. However, he had an appetite (young men normally do at age 20) so his mom got a pizza for him - first real meal he's eaten in a week. Both legs are tightly wrapped but the surgeons are done with him for a few days. He will move to BAMC next week so we'll have him within 15 minutes drive. There are bone and skin grafts ahead of him so the recovery will be pretty long.

Being an eternal optimist, he has decided this is a good opportunity to quit smoking...

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fingers crossed for a good recovery.

My sister has done 3 tours in the sandbox as an army doctor, and fortunatly come home safe each time. They are sending her back out soon -

She does not think its as safe there now as it was a couple of years ago. The IED's are well planned, with no warning , and no visable enemy.

She has patched up a good few folks from IED's, and sadly not had the chance on others.

She keeps going back because so many army doctors are quitting for better paid civi work, and they are massively short staffed on the medics.

We should all spare a though for those out there - they are professional soldiers keeping US safe.

Hope the purple hart works with the ladies for your lad ! :)

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It's interesting you mention IED's as his ground scanners did not pick up this one. He was driving along watching the screens and BOOM! The truck compartment did its job and saved his life but the explosion was bigger than normal. He said most IED's they usually saw were around 15-30 lbs of TNT - they estimated this one at 100 lbs and probably buried 5 feet deep in the ground.

Good luck to your sister - and anyone else on duty...

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I am very sorry to hear of your son's injury

I do want to express my appreciation to your son for his service and continued future for our great country.

I wish the very best and will be praying for him for complete and speedy recovery

Thanks to you as his parents for the sacrifices that you have made during his deployment and which will become even greater as you work together with him and the med team in the healing, rehabilitation and restoration process.

Thanks again for the service of your son.

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE (also posted on Farwest):

Harris has now been at BAMC for about a week and undergone a couple of surgeries - with the latest one being a skin graft. They took muscles from his abdomen and a big piece of skin from his right thigh to cover up the wound on his lower right leg. That was done on Tuesday so Wednesday was a horrible day from a pain perspective. I have never seen anyone in such agony - especially worse since it was one of my kids. In addition, the treatment is pretty uncomfortable - he has been under heat lamps in an 86 degree room since the surgery; this is so the blood vessels remain expanded. His mom and I were simply numb Wednesday night. However, after 14 hours of sleep, he woke much refreshed and asked for some food.

The good news is that the docs said he heals at a remarkable rate and they have already downgraded him to stable condition from critical in two days. It helps that he is about to turn 21 and was in great physical condition before the incident. In fact, they took him off the morphine drip today.

A couple of people have asked about cards and such. He's not too interested in that stuff and we are certainly not asking for anything, but if you want to send something, mail it to:

Spc. Harrison L. Wooldridge
c/o Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC)
Warrior in Transition Battalion
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
Fort Sam Houston, Tx 78234

We deeply appreciate all the prayers and best wishes - it's great that we have him 20 minutes away instead of at some place remote from family and friends. A lot of recovering soldiers have no one to visit them and I'd ask that you think about them.

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