Last night we attended a celebration at an American Legion Post for Billy. He came home on leave the day after I posted that earlier video of his unit under attack. He is in great spirits and his parents are absolutely delighted that he could be with them even for a short time. We managed to spent some time with the family during the celebration.
Billy had some more information on the IED ambush as mentioned in one of the recent posts below this one. He was riding "shotgun" in the same MRAP where the soldier in the weapons mount was shot in the helmet.
As Billy explained it, the bullet (a 7.62X54) that pierced the helmet was from a sniper rifle. It is a more powerful round than that which is used in an AK-47 (7.62X39). It penetrated the helmet, traveled over the solider's skull through the liner and put a three inch gash in the back of his head as it exited. The GI is only nineteen; it was his third day there - he was brand new. He is back in action but a little leery now, more cautious.
The driver of the lead MRAP that was damaged by the IED is not doing as well. His right arm was amputated below the elbow but there are complications: he has malaria and the skin grafts are not taking. He is currently recuperating at Walter Reed Hospital in DC.
We talked for a bit more and he is grateful for the prayers everyone has directed towards him. He is flying back to Afghanistan in ten days - upon his return he will be promoted to sergeant.
Speaking to his dad I got some ideas on what to send our daughter when she goes to Afghanistan next month. Snacks, personal hygiene items, powered energy beverages and small packages of candy (like Halloween portions) to hand out to Afghani children. Hooah.