Hometown Hero wounded in action
A 2008 Cape Coral High School graduate who was wounded in Afghanistan on Sunday is now on his way to a hospital in Washington state.
John Joseph McIntyre, 21, was stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, and deployed to Afghanistan in April.
He is a part of the Army’s First Battalion of the 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division.
Sheryl, his mother, said John went to boot camp in Fort Fill, Okla. on Jan. 20, 2010 and left for Alaska on Aug. 29, 2010.
His father John said he has been in the Army for two years. He is married and the father of two daughters, 1 and 2.
McIntyre said his son was traveling to the heliport so he could fly to the base to come home for a month-long stay in time for Thanksgiving when they hit an IED in the road.
“They hit a 400-pound IED in the road and blew their Stryker vehicle up,” his father said.
John was in the lead vehicle because he was on his way home.
The explosion killed his sergeant and injured two others. Sheryl said they lost a soldier who was sitting in front of him. There were a total of eight in the vehicle.
“He has three fractured vertebras, damage to his right knee and elbow,” McIntyre said.
Sheryl said John suffered a concussion and fractured his upper back. She said they took his neck collar off because there is no more risk of fluid in the brain.
“I think his brain is OK,” she said, based on the conversations she has had with him on the phone.
John will wear a back brace and knee brace for two months.
“It has been a hard week,” Sheryl said, adding that it was the worst phone call of her life. “It was the one you hope to never hear … at least it was his voice on the other end and not someone from the Army. I am thankful he is alive.”
McIntyre said his injuries were not as bad as they initially thought.
“We really don’t know how bad they are yet until he gets to the hospital in Washington,” McIntyre said about his son’s injuries.
John was sent to the hospital in Afghanistan before he was sent to Germany. He left Germany Thursday morning to head to Joint Base Fort Lewis-McCord in Washington.
“He sounds pretty good,” McIntyre said. He has had the opportunity to talk to his son at each hospital.
Sheryl said she spoke with her son three times on Sunday, two times on Monday and once per day since then.
“I am so proud of him,” she said.
“My son received a Purple Heart on Sunday,” McIntyre said.