A returning 1st Cav Division Soldier is readjusting to life in central Texas with his family. He said it was his best deployment so far, but it wasn't always easy.
Three 1st Cav Soldiers and two contractors were killed and more than a dozen soldiers injured in an IED suicide bombing attack at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on November 12.
Warrant Officer 1 Mr. Alex Villanueva was one of those injured, but he finished the one-year deployment and is now enjoying much needed family time.
Early in the morning on November 12, still a little dark, Mr. Villanueva and his fellow soldiers saw a bright light and heard a loud blast in front of them on the way to PT.
“I fell, I felt like I was shocked in the leg like electricity, caused my leg seized,” he said. “That’s all I thought it was, transformer blowing up or something because sirens didn’t go off.”
He walked over to a small medial facility to figure out where the bleeding was coming from.
“I didn’t want to go but they made me leave on the same flight they medevaced all the critically wounded, with everybody else,” he said.
Even though he was at least 150 feet away from the suicide bombing, Mr. Villanueva got a ball bearing--a piece of shrapnel--lodged into his femur on his upper right leg and it is still there.
“I would like to get that done, but not having much success here, so I might have to get a second opinion,” he said. “They’re telling me conducting the surgery may cause more damage.”
Mr. Villianueva said his injury hasn’t hindered his ability to walk or even do day-to-day exercise, but he’s still hoping to find a way to get the shrapnel out.
The 1st Cavalry Division Soldier was doing intelligence activities overseas. He did not have to deploy for the year-long assignment, but he volunteered to go. After the bombing, he was determined to get back on the front.
“That was it, I wanted to continue my mission,” he said.
Back home for the last couple weeks, the soldier is spending time with his wife and three children, aged 10, 13 and 15.
“They're excited that I'm back. When are we doing this? When are we going out? So you know, just getting stuff ready for school, and planning a couple activities before my leave ends” he said.