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Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Mercer County man seriously injured in Afghanistan fighting

Sudhoff recovering in Washington hospital

By Margie Wuebker
A St. Anthony-area soldier is recuperating from injuries sustained Jan. 8 when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into a crowded bazaar area in Afghanistan.
Specialist Kyle Sudhoff, 22, a member of the U.S. Army's First Division, was on foot patrol when the incident occurred near Kandahar. Two American soldiers were killed in the blast while Sudhoff and two others from the unit received serious injuries.
Sudhoff, the son of Patrick and Bernice Sudhoff, 6314 state Route 49, Fort Recovery, sustained multiple injuries including a broken right foot, a broken left arm and burns. Surgeons have repaired internal injuries as well as arterial damage in his arm.
"His left side is literally peppered with shrapnel from head to ankle," Patrick Sudhoff told The Daily Standard on Monday afternoon. "Kyle faces a lot of physical therapy in the coming months."
The Coldwater High School graduate initially was treated at an Afghan hospital before being transferred to a military base in Germany. The injured soldiers were airlifted late last week to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The Sudhoffs traveled to Walter Reed to see their son. Bernice Sudhoff is currently staying by her son's bedside while her husband returned home to continue operating Sudhoff Tree Farm. Siblings are expected to make the trip later this month.
"Kyle is still on painkillers due to his injuries but doctors are beginning to lower the amounts," Patrick Sudhoff said. "He's making progress and we could see improvement each day."
They received initial notification from their son's commanding officer with followup information provided by the Department of the Army, which provided transportation to see their son.
The daytime attack occurred in Maiwand, a district west of Kandahar that has been the scene of numerous attacks against American forces and Afghanistan government officials.
The New York Times subsequently reported Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed that the Taliban was responsible for the bombing. He stated the bomber - also responsible for the death of three Afghan residents and injuries to 21 civilians - was an Afghan man.
Kyle Sudhoff joined the Army two years ago and was deployed overseas in July. He came home on leave in the fall before returning. His assignment was scheduled to end this summer.
"We appreciate the outpouring of cards and prayers," Patrick Sudhoff said. "They really mean a lot at a time like this."
The soldier's address is: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Kyle Sudhoff 45C IMCU, 6900 Georgia Ave. Northwest, Washington, D.C., 20307.
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