Wounded vet back at home - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wounded vet back at home

June 24, 2005

Bainbridge-- A soldier who fought in Iraq is at home in Bainbridge recovering from a serious war wound. Specialist Clyde Miller was hit in a mortar attack just outside Baghdad. And though he's seven thousand miles from Iraq now, the moment he was hit is never far from his mind.

"All of a sudden I heard a whistle. It was like wooooo. I said oh goodness," Miller recalls. That whistle was the tell tale sound of a mortar round heading for Camp Liberty just outside Baghdad. It was a sound that that told Miller to hit the ground immediately. "When I did that it busted, went pow. I could see the flash. And the shrapnel came up and caught me across the forehead. It busted it open pretty good, cause I had to have like 20 stitches altogether," says Miller.

Combat medics pulled three pieces of shrapnel out of Miller's head, stabilizing him before transporting him to a military hospital in Germany. "They didn't know if I had penetrated my skull at the time, which I thank God it didn't," says Miller.

The same thoughts of thanks went through Miller's mother's mind when she heard of his injuries. His brother, also stationed in Iraq, called her with the news. "I'm hollering and crying. And he kept yelling mamma, mamma, you ok? Clyde's all right. Clyde's all right. I said thank God," says Hazel Burney.

It was an emotional breakdown followed by an emotional uplifting, when Miller returned to his mother's arms. "Oh my Goodness, it was just like he was a baby in my lap. I was just so glad to see him," says Burney.

But the one person Miller didn't get to see was his brother, one of his top priorities while in Iraq. "I had come all the way across the world, right there where he was at, and still didn't get to see him," says Miller. "Do you have a message for him," asked WALB reporter, Stephen Ryan. "Yeah, keep your head down," replied Miller.

Down time is also Miller's next step. He expects to serve at Fort Gordon before retiring soon. "I'm going to go ahead and finish out this tour. I got my 20 years. I got my medal. And I'm alive to enjoy it, so I got my war stories. I got my war wound. I just thank the Lord he brought me back, kept me safe," says Miller.

The medal Miller referred to is the Purple Heart, earned for being wounded in battle. He returns to Fort Gordon Monday.

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