APD Officer injured in Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD Officer injured in Iraq

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April 21, 2006

Ft. Stewart- During the 48th Brigade's 11 month tour, 26 soldiers lost their lives and dozens of others wounded. Now that some of those wounded soldiers are home the healing can begin.

With a slight limp and help from a cane Staff Sergeant Ernest Derrick Thompson made his way across Cottrell Field.

"To be able to be home again and smell American air and be able to see my family and friends again, it's a great feeling," said Staff Sgt. Ernest Derrick Thompson, 48th Brigade.

Just months ago, Thompson's homecoming could have taken a dramatic turn. It happened in an instant. Thompson's HUMVEE struck an Improvised Explosive Devices shortly after he returned to Iraq after his December leave.

"I got a lot of scratches to my face, broke my finger and messed up both of my knees," said Thompson.

Hesitant to discuss the exact details his thoughts from that day are still vivid.

"Survival. Survival is second hand nature type of things of survival," said Thompson. Over the last four months a hospital in Kuwait has worked to heal his wounds, now his family, seeing him for the first time since the attack plans to continue that care with a little extra TLC.

"It was difficult because he was over there and hurting and we couldn't do anything for him you know, but now he's home and we can do whatever needs to be done in order to get him back together again," said Doris Milledge, Sister.

But once those wounds heal, the incident may nothing more than a distant memory.

"I left nothing in Iraq, that's my motto I left nothing in Iraq, the memories that I have there, they're just going to stay with me and I'm going to try to brush them off as much as I can," said Thompson.

Five of the 26 National Guardsmen killed from the 48th Brigade were from South Georgia.

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