Two guard members wounded in Iraq

08/09/05 12:00AM By Steve Zind
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(Host) Two Vermont guardsmen wounded in Iraq this week are being treated at an Army hospital in Germany.

VPR's Steve Zind reports:

(Zind) The injured soldiers are Specialist Benjamin Perez and Sergeant Joseph Caron. They're members of Task Force Saber, a group of 400 Vermont Army guard members who recently arrived in Iraq's Anbar Province. The area in the Sunni Triangle has been the scene of heavy fighting with insurgents.

The two were initially flown to a hospital in Baghdad and then to Landschtul Medical Center in Germany. First Lieutenant Veronica Saffo is with the Vermont National Guard.

(Saffo) "Both of the soldiers are currently at Landschtul. Specialist Perez underwent surgery. He's still in serious condition but he's doing well. Both soldiers are expected to be at Walter Reed as early as August 12."

(Zind) Many of the war's seriously injured troops are flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. for further treatment and rehabilitation and to be closer to their families. Of the two soldiers, Perez was the most seriously injured. He was shot in the abdomen and the chest. Caron received hand and chest wounds. Saffo says not many details are known about the circumstances.

(Saffo) "We do know that they were out on a combat patrol, that they came under small arms fire, that they sustained injuries."

(Zind) Saffo says neither soldier lives in Vermont or has family in the state. The Guard isn't releasing the soldiers' home of record, date of birth or relatives' names. Roughly 15% of Vermont's Army Guard and a third of the Air Guard live out of state.

For Vermont Public Radio, I'm Steve Zind.
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