Fund set up for injured Pa. soldier

November 28, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

MONT ALTO, PA. - A Mont Alto soldier critically wounded in Iraq on Nov. 13 has lost both hands to his injuries.

Sgt. Edward W. "Eddie" Shaffer's right hand was removed Monday in the latest of a series of surgeries that previously claimed his left hand and foot, his father said Monday.

"Today, they took his right hand," Eddie Shaffer's father, Edward C. Shaffer, said Monday. "They say he potentially could face more than 30 surgeries before they are done."

Eddie Shaffer was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded next to his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Ramadi, a Sunni stronghold about 70 miles west of Baghdad.


Burned over 80 percent of his body, Eddie Shaffer was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam in San Antonio, where he remains in critical condition, his father said.

Since Eddie Shaffer returned to the United States, family and friends have been by his side. Edward Shaffer said he and his wife, Brenda, spent six days in Texas and plan to return in December.

Many residents of the soldier's hometown also felt the need to reach out to the Shaffer family.

"Mont Alto is a small community, and someone should do something for them," said Yvette Jones of Mont Alto.

Last week, the "Edward C. Shaffer for the benefit of Edward W. Shaffer" fund was set up at F&M Trust, said Ken Ditzler, marketing manager for the bank.

Ditzler said people can donate at any of the bank's locations by making a check out to "Edward C. Shaffer FBO Edward W. Shaffer."

A representative of the Mont Alto branch said people can also mail checks to the bank at P.O. Box 250, Mont Alto, PA 17237.

While Edward Shaffer said his family is grateful for the fund and will use the money to "pay whatever needs to be paid," he stressed that what their son needs is prayer.

"What they tell us is his prognosis is low and he will be there for a long time, so about all we can do is pray," he said.

Edward Shaffer said his son, who briefly woke up and responded to nurses last week, remains heavily sedated and is scheduled for more surgery.

Eddie Shaffer graduated from Waynesboro Area Senior High School in 2002 and took computer courses at the Thompson Institute before enlisting in the Army in 2003.

Edward Shaffer said his son was serving with the Third Platoon Co. B of the 136th Infantry when he was wounded.

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