21 Jul

A Teenager’s Journey


The other soldiers killed in Afghanistan during the 4th of July weekend.


On the ground in Afghanistan barely more than a month, Edwin “Eddie” Wood already had survived one bomb attack.

He was first sent to Afghanistan in May, when he had his first brush with a bomb.

 Wood originally intended to be home on leave for his favorite holiday, the Fourth of July, though he had barely begun his year-long overseas tour.

 As it turned out, his leave got moved up — to June 11 — and he spent two weeks in Omaha with his family.

 “We were all here for him, and he was happy as could be,’’ said his mother, Janis Boehmer of Omaha.

 He returned to Afghanistan June 29 and soon was back on patrol. His family was celebrating the July 4th  weekend without him Monday when they received word he had been killed.

Back out on patrol July 5th as a scout with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, insurgent bombers struck again. This time, the blast claimed the life of Pfc. Wood, an 18-year-old graduate of Omaha North High School.

Wood called home on July 4th, but his mother said she missed talking to him. She has the message he left on her voice mail: “Hey Mom, just letting you know that I’m doing OK, and just wanted to let you know we had a little awards ceremony the other day. Talk to you later when I get my phone. … Love you guys. Bye.”

Wood, better known as Freckles, worked at YMCA Camp Pokamoke in Crescent, Iowa, as a junior counselor. He was remembered as a role model and known for his giving personality. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the camp flew its flag at half-staff in his honor.

 “He was the only person I knew who had a big heart and cared about everyone,” said Courtney Janz, a fellow junior counselor.

 Wood wrote Janz letters while was still stationed in the United States. While he was home in June, Wood told Janz about his near-death experiences in Afghanistan and said he was having memory loss issues.

 “He wouldn’t get checked out because he feared not being able to go back to the Army. He was so dedicated,” Janz said.

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I am honoured….and sad.Bless the family.

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