The fighting in Iraq has injured thousands of soldiers, and now a local family learns their son has been seriously injured in a car bombing.
Elaine Huska got the call every mother fears on Wednesday. Her son, Sgt. Kenneth O’Dell, Jr., was in an Army convoy returning to their base when they were hit by an explosive device. He and another soldier were airlifted to a surgical unit.
During the attack O’Dell sustained a penetrating wound to the back of his head and shrapnel wounds in his back and spine. He also lost all hearing in his left ear and has some facial wounds. O’Dell’s now recovering at a hospital in Germany.
Elaine, who hadn't seen her son in four years, says she's grateful for the time she was able to spend with him during a recent visit on Labor Day.
"Such a blessing, I hadn't seen him in such a long time, thought if something happened at least I got to see him,” said Elaine.
Elaine says her son is a survivor and has a long road of recovery ahead. Next week he's expected to be flown to a hospital at his base in Hawaii. O’Dell’s also just filed to re-enlist for another four years of service and hopes to go back to Iraq.
"He wants to go back to his unit because he believes in what he's doing,” says Elaine.
In order for Kenneth’s wife to see him in Hawaii, she has to pay for her airfare and hotel. If you'd like to help, a fund has been set up at Amcore Bank. You can visit any branch and make a deposit in the name of Sgt. Kenneth O’Dell, Jr.