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OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM Wounded Kinsman soldier to return



Published: Mon, April 21, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



A sniper's bullet struck the Kinsman soldier outside Baghdad.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

KINSMAN -- Rick and Becky Blose can't wait until their son returns home from the battlefields of Iraq.

"I'm floating. I want to give him a big hug," said Blose of his 22-year-old son, Michael, who was wounded by a sniper's bullet April 9.

"I'm blessed that he's coming home," Mrs. Blose commented about her son's month-and-a-half tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Mrs. Blose said Michael, a private with the Army's 101st Airborne Division, out of Fort Campbell, Ky., was wounded while on guard duty about 50 miles outside Baghdad.

"He didn't know exactly where he was when he was shot," Mrs. Blose said.

Told about it

She said Michael related during a telephone call Monday that he heard two shots fired about midnight.

"He felt something hit his leg. He thought he was shot. It was definitely a sniper," Mrs. Blose said her son told her.

The bullet struck the side of his leg, just below the kneecap, and exited. The 2000 graduate of Badger High School was evacuated to a military field hospital in Kuwait. He'll return to the states as soon as he's well enough.

Last Wednesday morning, the Bloses received a call from a sergeant who told them their son had been wounded but was OK and recovering. Because the Kinsman couple received few details, Mrs. Blose said the call was "unsettling."

It wasn't until Saturday that Michael was able to call his wife, the former Deidre Emery, who has been staying with her parents, Keith and Sally Emery in Kinsman, while her husband is overseas.

On Monday, a sergeant allowed Michael to use his cell phone to call his parents and provide them with some details, including being flown to Germany to recover.

"It has been a true adventure," Mrs. Blose explained, starting from the time Michael signed up for the Army.

Fateful day

It was 9/11 when his parents took him to the Army induction center in Cleveland in 2000.

"It was a very scary day. The building was locked down," Mrs. Blose said.

That only strengthened Michael's desire to serve, his father added, noting that Michael could have backed out of signing up.

Because of the terrorist attacks and flights canceled after 9/11, Michael had to return the next week to be sworn in.

Mrs. Blose said Michael's brother, 14-year-old Andrew; and sisters, 9-year-old Ashley; and Andrea Miller, 20, of Canfield; are also proud of their brother.

Ashley has been keeping a diary-type book to share with her schoolmates at Gustavus Elementary.

Mrs. Blose said that people she doesn't know in this small northern Trumbull County community have been asking about Michael.

"God bless living in America," she added.




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