Friday, March 20th, 2009
Coldwater ready to greet returning soldier
By Margie Wuebker
Cheering people and waving flags will greet U.S. Army Spec. Kyle Sudhoff of St. Anthony when he comes home Saturday on a 30-day leave after being critically injured while serving in Afghanistan.
Sudhoff, a 2005 graduate of Coldwater High School, will receive a police escort for an east to west trip along Main Street in Coldwater at 3 p.m. His mother, Bernice Sudhoff, who had been staying with him at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., will be accompanying him.
Robert Rutschilling, a representative of the Thanks to Our Yanks program in Coldwater, encourages people to come out and show their support and encouragement for the 22-year-old soldier who was injured Jan. 8 when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into a crowded bazaar west of Kandahar.
Those wishing to participate in the welcome home display should bring flags and signs of support, according to Rutschilling.
"Kyle is doing better but he faces more therapy and surgery in the future," his father, Patrick Sudhoff, said this morning. "It will be good to have him home if only for a little while."
Therapy will continue throughout his 30-day stay with details still being finalized. The soldier is scheduled to return to Walter Reed at the conclusion of his leave for additional treatment.
Sudhoff, a member of the U.S. Army's First Division, sustained a broken right foot, a broken left arm and burns in the bombing. Surgeons also repaired internal injuries as well as arterial damage in his arm. The explosion peppered his left side with shrapnel from head to ankle.
"Kyle has nerve and muscle damage in his left arm," Patrick Sudhoff said. "He has limited movement of his fingers but that's about all at this point."
Doctors have told the family nerves and muscles can regenerate, and there is the possibility of a nerve graft if that does not take place.
Two members of Sudhoff's foot patrol died in the blast in Maiwand Province, west of Kandahar, while three others were wounded. He received treatment at an Afghan hospital before being transferred to a military base in German and later airlifted to Walter Reed.
Cards can be sent to him in care of his parents' address - 6314 state Route 49, Fort Recovery, OH 45846.