ELDENA, IL (WIFR) -- Moving ammunition at a supply point in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan turned deadly for members of the Army's 82nd Airborne division just nine days ago as one soldier was killed and six others were injured. Among those who survived the blast was Eldena, Illinois native Michael Shoemaker Jr. Who continues to make his recovery in Washington.
Shoemaker suffered severe injuries to the right side of his body and had metal removed from his head after ammunition exploded during a transport last Thursday. The army specialist's family says he is able to communicate using hand signals and is moving both arms and legs. His parents and wife are currently with shoemaker at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington and say his recovery so far has been nothing short of a miracle.
"The doctors, after they get done, actually field all of our questions. This morning, the head doctor told us that his recovery and healing right now are progressing like a freight train. Every day, we just have to continue hoping he gets better as time goes on”, says his father, Michael Shoemaker Sr.
Military officials are unsure of what caused the explosion and are still investigating. Other members of Shoemaker's family won't have to wait long to see him, the Hero Miles program is providing air travel to Walter Reed for his other relatives.
An account has been set up at Midland States Bank to help the family. Midland has branches in Dixon, Rock Falls, Sterling and Oregon.