A soldier from southwest Iowa, wounded during a firefight in Afghanistan, is returning to the U.S. Two American soldiers were killed in the exchange on Tuesday.
Twenty-three-year-old Army Specialist Nate Allen of Atlantic was injured, but is expected to make a full recovery. His father, Mick Allen, says while the extent of Nate’s injuries are serious, he was not shot multiple times as initially reported by Army officials.
“He got shot in the right shoulder. It was a downward trajectory, so that’s what ricocheted off of his rib causing damage to the diaphragm,” Mick Allen said. “They’ve got him on a feeding tube, but he’s doing well.” Nate is being from Germany to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. His family is planning to travel to Georgia to see Nate sometime this weekend.
“It’ll be nice to get him back in the states where it’ll be easier to see him,” Allen said. “It’s easier to go Georgia than to Germany.” Nate was recently taken off pain medication and has been able to sit up in his hospital bed and speak with doctors. His father says it’s too early to tell how soon Nate might make it back to Iowa.
“We hope to find out. We’ll be able to talk to him and medical personnel when he gets to Georgia. I would imagine, when he gets out of the hospital, he’ll have some time to get back (to Iowa),” Mick said. “I don’t know what the recovery time will be, probably a month to six weeks.”
Nate Allen graduated from Atlantic High School in 2006. He joined the Iowa National Guard in February 2008 and was transferred to the U.S. Army in August 2008.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic