Jordan Ferrell, a 2002 Moffat County High School graduate, was recently wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ferrell, a communication paratrooper with the Army's 82nd Airborne, suffered shrapnel wounds to the front upper thigh area when a hand grenade detonated on the roof of the truck he was riding in.
His mother, Debbie Dunaway of Craig, was informed of her son's injuries April 24, when Army Lt. Jeremy Nommensen called her.
"The lieutenant did so well," Dunaway said of the call she received. "He said it so fast and said right away that Jordan was alright. I knew he was alright before I had a chance to think anything else."
The lieutenant told her that her son was injured sometime before April 24, but could not provide an exact date or location for security reasons.
She was told that the incident happened when a small convoy Ferrell was in approached a crowd of Iraqi protesters all dressed in civilian clothes.
The protesters were throwing rocks at the convoy as it passed when someone threw a hand grenade that landed on the roof of Ferrell's truck.
A blast blew a hole in the roof, sending shrapnel into the cab area.
Ferrell was treated and is recuperating in the 28th Combat Support Hospital located in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces.
A day after the initial call about her son's injury, Dunaway received a call from her son.
"He was in good spirits and ready to get back out again," she said.
Overall, she said her son was upbeat about being in Iraq.
"He said it's not the best in the world but it's not that bad," she said.
Dunaway was informed Monday that Ferrell had returned to active duty.
Ferrell, who will be 19 in
July, went to basic training last June, five months after graduating from Moffat County High School in January of 2002.
"He joined so he could get an education without it costing a lot of money," Dunaway said of her son's reasons for joining the armed forces.
She also said it was almost a "natural progression" for her son, who is an outdoors enthusiast.
He enjoyed BMX biking, and Dunaway said that after having wrecked while attempting 15-foot jumps on numerous occasions on his bike, he knows how to deal with pain.
"He's crashed and burned so many times a few aches and pains won't stop him," she said.
She said her son is thinking about studying computers, possibly computer graphics, when his military service is up.
His mother said she is also encouraging him to pursue creative writing, something he also has a knack for.
In the meantime, the 82nd Airborne Division Ferrell is with is providing humanitarian assistance in Iraq, including food distribution and working to restore water and electricity in the city of As-Samawah, according to the division's 1-800 hotline.
Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.