Fort Benning soldier shot in neck in Iraq

Tuesday, April 1st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Army Cpl. Charles Eatmon, whose wife lives in Stillwater, was shot in the neck in a firefight in Iraq and is recovering in a hospital in Germany.

Eatmon was shot last week near Karbala, his wife, Simone Eatmon said.

He is with the 3rd Brigade/3rd Infantry Initial Task Force Armored Regiment out of Fort Benning, Ga.

She is eight months pregnant with the couple's second child and is staying with her parents in Stillwater and attending classes at Oklahoma State University.

A call from Fort Benning first alerted her that he had been injured, and then she spoke to her husband by telephone Sunday at the hospital.

``He told me he had been shot the night the sandstorm started, which was four or five days earlier,'' she said. ``He said they had been seizing a bridge and had been under fire most of the day and when he told his guys to get down, he was shot.''

He didn't realize he had been hit until he saw the blood on his hands through his night-vision goggles.

``Then he told me he managed to get off 10 rounds before he collapsed,'' she said.

He told his wife the bullet entered his neck, missing his vocal cords and carotid artery by less than an inch, and hit his collarbone. He also has shrapnel in his chest.

``He told me it was hard to know who the enemy was because they would be in regular clothes and have their flags and then they would turn around and have guns,'' she said.

He was seen by doctors in a medical unit a couple hours after he was shot and then was treated in field hospitals before being flown to Ramstein Air Base in Germany and on to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

He expects that his next stop will be Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where the shrapnel in his chest may be removed.