Ragland’s Michael Campbell is at home. Almost a year after being shot by an Iraqi soldier, Campbell has officially been medically discharged from the United States Army.
Campbell said it is officially called a medically retired honorable discharge. The discharge became effective June 27.
Campbell joined the Army Sept. 1, 2009, and was stationed in Iraq, when the shooting took place Sept. 7, 2011.
Campbell was one of 11 U.S. soldiers who were shot by an Iraqi soldier, who climbed a wall to get where the 11 soldiers were sleeping. Two of the American soldiers were killed. U.S. soldiers later killed the Iraqi gunman.
Campbell was shot in the abdomen and the bullet went through his stomach. The bullet nicked his colon and fractured his left iliac wing. He had surgery in Iraq as doctors removed his intestines and a portion of his colon. Campbell was flown to a hospital in Germany, a 5-hour flight, after he was stabilized.
From there, it was on to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where his recovery took almost a year.
On Oct. 5, 2011, Campbell was presented the Purple Heart by the Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal for being wounded in action.
He was able to travel home to Ragland for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now is home for good.
Last week, Campbell attended a Ragland basketball game at Victory Christian to watch his son play basketball.
“From construction to the military, it was a good experience,” Campbell said. “Even though things went down the way they did, it was a good experience. I think any young man should join the military for three years. I am so glad to be home.”
Campbell attended basic training at Ft. Benning, Ga. He was then stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
He deployed from Hawaii July 2, 2011, and arrived in Iraq a few days later as a member of the 2nd Platoon, 1-27th Infantry, where he was a radio telecommunications operator.