The parents of an eastern Iowa soldier injured in Afghanistan say he likely saved the life of a comrade after he was shot. Private First Class Matthew Courter is a combat medic with the U.S. Army. The 19-year-old from Center Point was shot in the left arm on Friday. His stepfather, Sean Taylor, says Matthew was flown to Germany for surgery.

“It’s stressful. You just have to get to the point where you understand you don’t have control. You have to realize all things happen for a reason,” Taylor said. After Courter was shot, he was still able to pull a fellow soldier – who was also shot – to safety. Despite his injuries, Taylor says Matthew remains in good spirits.

“I makes you proud as a father to know your son took care of someone else,” Taylor said. “He joked with me and said he was going to have a cool scar. So, that set me at ease quite a bit.” Matthew’s mother, Laurie Taylor, says her son always wanted to be a soldier – even as a little kid. Courter deployed to Afghanistan in early March, just a few months after he got married.

“I’m proud of him for having the courage to do this and go to another part of the world and put his life on the line for freedom,” Laurie Taylor said. Courter’s wife is expecting a baby this summer. In addition to Courter’s injuries, two members of the Iowa National Guard were killed last week in Afghanistan and four other Iowans were seriously wounded.

Twenty-one-year-old Don Nichols of Shell Rock and 31-year-old Brent Maher of Honey Creek were the first two Iowa Guard soldiers killed in action since the current Afghanistan deployment began last November.

By Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids