Wounded Martinsburg soldier 'on road to recovery,' his father says

Spc. Uriah Horst, injured in rocket attack in Afghanistan, recovering at military medical center in Md.

August 02, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • U.S. Army Spc. Uriah Horst is pictured with his wife, Rhianne. Horst was injured Monday in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, family members said.
Submitted Photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Martinsburg soldier wounded last week in a rocket attack in Afghanistan is recovering at a military medical center in Bethesda, Md., his father said Tuesday.

U.S. Army Spc. Uriah Horst, 21, has several surgeries ahead of him, but Richard Horst Sr. said his son is in “good spirits” and doing well.

“He’s doing good, I’m proud of him,” his father said. “He’s been through a lot.”

Uriah Horst returned to the U.S. on Sunday, Richard Horst said. He was wounded on July 25 and flown from Afghanistan to Germany before returning to the United States.

Horst has survived two or three life-threatening injuries, including a severed femoral artery, and is expected to remain in ICU possibly for up to a week to make sure he’s healing properly, Richard Horst said.

“He’s on the road to recovery,” he said of his son, a 2008 graduate of Martinsburg High School.

The femoral artery in his son’s leg was cut in two, but he still has feeling and a pulse in his limb thanks to medical intervention to repair it, his father said.

“The doctor says he doing really good,” Richard Horst said.

Horst’s mother, Kimberly Horst and wife, Rhianne Horst, are staying in military-provided housing near the hospital, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, while he’s recovering, Richard Horst said. 
A member of the 18th Fires Brigade, Uriah Horst was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina before he was deployed overseas, his father said.

Uriah Horst was on guard duty at Forward Operating Base Andar when he heard an inbound enemy rocket, according to the blog of his older brother, Ryan Horst. Uriah moved from his position in an attempt to locate the firing origin of the rocket when he was hit by shrapnel from a second rocket that hit about 15 meters away, Ryan Horst wrote in his blog.

The blog said Horst was struck by shrapnel in the arms, torso, abdomen and legs. At a hospital in Bath, Afghanistan, Uriah underwent surgery to remove a large piece of shrapnel from his abdomen, Ryan Horst wrote.

His father said Tuesday that a piece of the shrapnel that struck his son was about 2 1/2 inches long, 2 inches wide and about an inch thick and weighed a little less than a half pound.

Richard Horst said the family has received an outpouring of support.

“People from all over are wishing him the best,” Horst said.

Right now, Horst said the family is just glad he’s back in the United States.

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