Today, Bob D. sends this article that updates the status of LTC Kurilla:
The News Tribune
Last updated: August 23rd, 2005 08:33 AM (PDT)
Army Lt. Col. Erik Kurilla arrived at Madigan Army Medical Center late Monday for treatment of wounds he suffered Friday in a firefight in Mosul, Iraq.
Officials said Kurilla, commander of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, was shot in the arm and leg and suffered a broken leg.
He was reported in stable condition.
He is the highest-ranking officer in Fort Lewis’ second Stryker brigade to be seriously wounded in Iraq.
News that Kurilla was wounded came first via the online journal of freelance writer Michael Yon, who is embedded with the battalion known as “Deuce Four” and has written extensively about its operations – and its colorful commander. (Yon’s blog is at michaelyon.blogspot.com/)
He wrote Kurilla “was shot three times in combat yesterday in front of my eyes. Despite being seriously wounded, Kurilla immediately rejoined the intense and close-quarter fight that ended in hand-to-hand combat.
“Kurilla continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”
The brigade’s rear detachment commander, Maj. Nicholas Mullen, confirmed Monday that Kurilla had been shot near the elbow and in one leg.
It was the other leg that was broken, he said.
For news reporters, Kurilla has been like a character straight out of central casting: big, fierce and gung-ho.
In one recent dispatch, Yon described how Kurilla walked out into the middle of a street, under fire, and dragged a detainee into cover. His men had inadvertently left the captured man sitting in the open.
In other dispatches Yon has described how Kurilla climbed into burning Strykers to pull his wounded men to safety.
Kurilla is a 1988 West Point graduate and a veteran of the U.S. invasion of Panama, the first Persian Gulf war, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti and the U.S.-led interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Michael Gilbert: 253-597-8921
It sounds like he'll be okay. Keep him and his men in your thoughts and prayers.
Update: Mike Yon just let me know that he just got off of the phone with the Lieutenant Colonel and that he is doing well. Keep an eye on Yon's blog for the next dispatch.
Update II: Soldiers' Angels is on the job! An Angel will hopefully be able to visit LTC Kurilla this afternoon.
Update III: For those who haven't seen these posts from Stryker Brigade News, here are two memorials given by LTC Kurilla which have been linked from here before: