27 May 2007

Meet One of Our Comrades-in-Arms: Lance-Corporal Craig Lundberg

On the night of 22nd March 2007, Lance-Corporal Craig Lundberg and soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment were tasked with an operation to arrest members of a terrorist cell in Basra.

The arrests were completed without incident, but then LCpl Lundberg's accompanying squad came under fire while extracting the prisoners. Lundberg immediately directed his squad onto a roof to draw fire and subdue the enemy.

An intense firefight ensued. Taking cover behind a small wall and returning fire, the Lance-Corporal was targeted by two rocket propelled grenades. The first blew away the wall. The second struck him in the chest plate of his body armor and exploded.

Blinded and with his left arm almost severed, Lundberg continued to give orders to his soldiers and attempted to grab his rifle and return fire.

After initial life-saving treatment from medics at the scene and at the British Hospital in Basra, Lundberg was medevac'd to the US hospital in Balad. There he underwent 12 hours of surgery and remained on a ventilator throughout his subsequent evacuation from Iraq to Landstuhl, Germany.

Craig Lundberg and his mom Debbie in the Landstuhl ICU on March 26, 2007

US military surgeons in Balad and Landstuhl started the process of reconstructing Lundberg's face and arm. His right eye was saved, but so far doctors have been unable to restore his sight.

The work of the American medical staff in Landstuhl stabilized Lundberg sufficiently to enable his transfer via an RAF Aero-Med Hercules C130 aircraft. He arrived at Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital on March 27, where he remained until May 3.

Craig and his girlfriend Helen take their first walk outside on April 29, 2007

I didn't meet Lance-Corporal Lundberg or know his story until receiving this email the other day. I'm sure you'll agree that Mrs. Lundberg has every right to be proud of her son.

Hello MaryAnn,

I am a very proud mother of a young man who at 21 was very badly injured in Basra, Iraq.

My son serves with 2nd Duke of Lancasters and on the 22nd of March was very badly injured. My son was air lifted to Balad were he was treated for his wounds.

I can't thank your countrymen enough for the lifesaving care they gave my son.

Craig was transferred to Germany were he was well looked after. We were flown from our home to Germany and stayed in a Fisher House. The care and support that was in place was remarkable and I will never forget what your country did for my son.

Craig was given a blanket which was made by your good ladies. This blanket remains with my son today and he will always keep it.

The work you do is great and I can't thank you enough.

God bless you all.

Mrs. Deborah Lundberg

Doctors are amazed at Lundberg's resilience and rapid recovery although he faces months of rehabilitation, physiotherapy and further eye surgery.

“Craig is inspirational, it gives you a lift being around him,” said his father Steve adding, “He is being spoilt rotten - there is a rota for whose house he goes to for Sunday dinner.”

Debbie also sent along a link to Craig's blog, where you can leave a message or send him an email.

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