Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lance Iunker

As most of you know, Lance Iunker is in Iraq right now and for those of you who don't know, I'll just copy and paste the 2 latest update emails from Dori:

Dear family and friends,
I am writing one of two updates I never wanted to write. I received the dreaded phone call from Baghdad late tonight that Lance had been injured in a horrible accident yesterday. Seven or eight of the men in his platoon were killed (I do not know who they are at this point). Please pray for their families as this must be the worst day of their lives.
Lance just got out of surgery and will be flying to a hospital in Germany in the next few hours according to the nurse I spoke with. He has a fractured back but is able to move his limbs, his ear was torn off but they sewed it back on, and he has 30 stitches running up the side of his head. I am not sure of the extent of the rest of his injuries but he was allowed to talk with Larry and I and it was a relief to hear his voice. He sounded good!
They said once he is stable and accessed further for his injuries in Germany he will probably be moved to Walter Reed or maybe somewhere closer in California.
Please pray for a full and quick recovery and praise the Lord that he chose to spare his life! Lance has always said that the Lord has great plans for him and that He is not through with him yet, so we will see where this journey leads us now.
In His grace,

Hello family and friends,
I have just gotten off the phone with the surgeon in Baghdad. He gave me a run down of Lance's injuries so I thought I would pass them along. He said, "Your son sustain significant injuries so I will start at the top and work my way down. Lance had significant scalp injuries. His scalp was basically torn off and needed immediate surgery to sew it back on. His right ear was torn off and dangling by a thread so a plastic surgeon sewed it back on. He was so fortunate to have a plastic surgeon here on site when he came in. That is highly unusual! The bones that support the eyeballs were fractured but since the vision is still intact we decided not to operate at this time. We believe his hearing is intact in the left ear and time will tell how his hearing is in the right ear. A ruptured eardrum will heal itself overtime but a perforated one may require future surgery. At this time his hearing looks like it is intact. He has contusions on his right lung and a small amount of air near his heart but no surgery is necessary at this time. He has compression fractures on the T5 and T6 (thoracic vertebrae) with blood collection around them. We do not believe surgery is necessary at this time and the fractures appear to be stable fractures. He also has low back or lumbar vertebrae fractures with no spinal cord injury. Mrs. Iunker, I in no way want to make light of your sons injuries because they are significant and he is your son. But in the big scheme of things and in comparison to the other soldiers, your son is a very blessed young man!"
AMEN to that!!!
He then said," Mrs. Iunker, do they call your son "Preach or Preacher?". I said, "Yes. How did you know that?"
He said, "Wow. He is an amazing young man. I didn't get the chance to talk to him when he first came in because he went straight from the accident into surgery. When he was wheeled out of his second surgery, the Chaplain went over to him to try to wake him up from the anesthesia. He was very groggy. The Chaplain leaned over him and called him Preach. He said, "Preach, they said you're going to be okay! Your son raised his hand up into the air and said, 'Praise God, Praise God! God has something big in store for me!' I must say most soldiers don't wake up from surgery like that!!"
We are definitely praising God for his mercy today. We are also mourning with the families of those who have lost their loved ones. I must say I am in disbelief that the entire platoon has been wiped out. All 18 men of Charlie Troop are either dead or so injured they have been flown to Germany. There are none left in Baghdad! It is overwhelming to think of in those terms. Lance had a tough time with that last night and didn't even want to know who made it and who didn't but today he had several hours alone with the Chaplain and they reeled in their grief together. Lance said it was so good to get it all out!
I talked to Lance today too. He was just about to load the plane for Germany (2:00 pm our time). He is stable enough to go now and he will be reassessed in Germany for all his injuries. When ready, he will be moved back to the states (probably, God willing) in just a couple of days. They are unsure at this time if it will be to North Carolina or to Walter Reed in Texas. That decision will be made in Germany and we will find out hopefully tomorrow so we can make travel plans.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and I promise to keep you updated as I learn more about Lance's recovery.
In His great and amazing love,

Please keep the Iunker Family and the families of the entire Charlie Troop in your prayers this evening. What a sacrifice they are making for all of us...I am so humbled.


Carrie Haughey said...

oh my!!! I will be lifting them in prayer! Keep us updated! or give Dori my email for the updates.

Brianna Heldt said...

i will be praying, this brought tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing these emails.

Becky said...

Dori is so amazingly calm. God must have great things ahead for Lance. What a great witness!

Lara said...

Thank you for passing this on to us. I will be deep in prayer tonight, for Lance, the Iunker family and the entire Iraq situation.