Sgt. 1st Class David Hershberger, a 1999 graduate of Enumclaw High School, was injured April 20 during a blast caused by a suicide bomber in Iraq.
According to his father, Hershberger was standing about 10 feet away when the bomber, dressed in a police uniform, set off the explosion.
Hershberger’s injuries apparently were not serious, but could have been. Shrapnel was found lodged in his body armor and in his weapon. He was flown to a nearby hospital to be checked out. He spent two days in the hospital before returning to duty.
Lee Hershberger said his son initially described his injury as “just a scratch” on his neck.
“Like a good soldier, he brushed it off,” Lee Hershberger said, adding that the wound was actually a deep laceration that required stitches.
The bombing occurred on David Hershberger’s 29th birthday, near government buildings in the town of Baquba, about 40 miles northeast of Baghdad. The blast reportedly killed four policemen and wounded seven civilians and eight U.S. soldiers. Two of the injured soldiers have been returned to the United States and two of the dead had worked with Hershberger as interpreters.
The Hershbergers had received a call at their rural Enumclaw home from the Department of Defense, alerting them to the fact their son had been hurt but his injuries were not life-threatening. Later in the day, they were able to talk with their son by phone.