Before we left Afghanistan, JR and I spent time in the Role 3 International Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield.  This is a combat hospital with a stellar reputation for saving the lives of soldiers wounded in the field. The doctors said if a soldier arrives with vital signs, they have a 100 percent record of saving the soldier’s life. And they’ve revived two who didn’t have vital signs.

We were visiting two soldiers who’d both been injured by explosions from IEDS and had their right legs amputated below the knee. One of the soldiers, then Spc. Joe Mille (now Cpl. Joe Mille) recognized JR. They were classmates at Sitka High School and attended the same church.

(I will write a blog entry will more of the story soon.)

Our last night in Kandahar, JR and I spent several hours on the phone talking to Steve Heimel at APRN in Anchorage and James Seifert at KCAW in Sitka. Steve Heimel produced an excellent radio piece for APRN

And Robert Woolsey just aired a piece on KCAW, JR’s hometown radio station. There’s a photo of Mille in the field and a link to the radio piece/interview with JR.

We understand that Spc. Joe Mille, now Cpl. Mille, and Pfc. Rex Tharp are doing well in their recovery at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Here’s a link to a story from the local paper, the Watertown Daily Times, near Fort Drum, New York, where they’re stationed.

Here’s a link to a story about Mille from the Press of Atlantic City. That’s JR’s photo of Mille in Role 3 with his Purple Heart.