North Salem High grad wounded while serving in Afghanistan

Wounded Salem soldier headed to Walter Reed

SALEM, Ore. -- An Army serviceman and North Salem High School graduate is recovering after being hurt in an attack in Afghanistan.

“Even his nurses over there said he’s the perfect patient,” said mom Tamarra Huerta. “They wish they had more like him.”

Huerta says her son, Specialist Cristian Garcia, was patrolling Afghan villages Thursday when his vehicle was hit by a RPG (rocket-propelled grenade).

“Shrapnel to head, neck, arm, leg, chest, all on his left side,” she said.  “Major part of the injury was to his throat.”

Unable to speak, Cristian has been sending text messages to his mom in Salem.  She says he is doing well.

“I know he’s in the best of hands with the military,” Tamarra said.  “They have awesome doctors.”

Even at Walter Reed, where Cristian is expected to be flown to as early as Monday. 

“I’m excited to see him,” said Tamarra.

But she is worried about the bills that will pile up during what could be a lengthy visit to the East Coast. Jim Wagner, Cristian’s JROTC instructor in high school, realizes that and he started a Go Fund Me to help with expenses.

“I’m not looking at it like I’m helping Tamarra,” Wagner said.  “I’m looking at it like I’m helping Cristian … that young man needs his mommy right now.”

And that mom needs her son. 

“I know he’s anxious to heal and get back to his unit,” said Tamarra.

If you would like to contribute to the cause you can do so by going to this GoFundMe page that has been set up to help.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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