November 28, 2007 Edition

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Tillman injured by IED in Iraq



1st Lt. Jeremy Tillman
John Bland
Publisher

1st Lt. Jeremy Tillman, a former resident of Walnut Ridge, is in stable condition after being injured late Saturday or early Sunday while on active duty in Iraq. His mother, Marianne Snapp Ditto of Hoxie, said he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on routine foot patrol in Baghdad, Iraq.

Unofficial reports were that three Iraqi nationals were killed instantly and five injured in the same explosion. However, Tillman, who is platoon leader of the Bravo Battery of the 82nd Airborne Division, was the only U.S. soldier injured.

According to Cpt. Josh Richardson, in an e-mail to Cassie Tillman, Jeremy's wife, he sustained severe bone damage to his right ankle, along with a broken tibia and fibia bone on that leg, tendon damage in both legs, including his left Achilles tendon, lacerations on both legs and a shrapnel wound to his left shoulder.

"Jeremy has handled this situation extremely well, and I am really proud of him," wrote Ltc. Al Shoffner in an e-mail to Cassie.

After the explosion, Tillman was taken to the green zone, a secure part of Baghdad. There, he was stabilized before being flown to the Balad, Iraq, airbase, where he remained for a short time and was further stabilized for a flight to the Lundstulh, Germany, Army Medical Center, according to Jeremy's mother.

Coincidentally, Tillman's step-father, Greg Ditto, is working in Balad as a civilian contractor for ManTech International Corp., a defense and security technology company. Ditto, a native of Hoxie, was able to be with Jeremy in Balad and fly with him to Germany.

Their flight to Germany occurred Monday at 2 a.m. Arkansas time, and later that day, Tillman underwent surgery in Lundstuhl.

Later this week, Tillman is expected to be flown back to the United States, where he will probably be admitted to Womack Army Medical Center near Fort Bragg, N.C., where he is stationed and Cassie and their one-year-old daughter, Emma, hope to be reunited with him. There was also a possibility that he could be sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"1st Lt. Tillman is a superb leader and was doing an extraordinary job leading his platoon in this complex fight," wrote Richardson.

Tillman is also the son of Jim Jr. and Susan Tillman of Dyersburg, Tenn., and the grandson of Jimmy and Anne Snapp of Walnut Ridge and Jim and Margaret Tillman of North Little Rock.

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