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Local soldier to be treated at Fort Gordon

U.S. Army PFC Darryl Wallace is no longer assigned to Walter Reid Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Instead, the 24-year-old soldier from McDuffie County, received news just before Christmas that he was being transferred to the Uptown Veterans Hospital in Augusta, where he is to continue his extensive therapy for war-related injuries.

His mother-in-law, Margaret Higdon, a former Harlem resident now living in Maryland, was thrilled when she telephoned The McDuffie Mirror to announce such news shortly before Christmas.

"We're all just so excited about Darryl getting to come home for his treatments, rather than having to stay in Washington for them," said Mrs. Higdon. "The news really helped to make our Christmas."

PFC Wallace was flown by helicopter from Walter Reid Army Medical Center to Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center on Friday, Dec. 21. He was critically injured back on June 9 in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device went off, blowing up the humvee that he was driving with three fellow soldiers inside. His three passengers managed to escape with just slight injuries. PFC Wallace wasn't as fortunate. He lost his right leg from the knee down and his left foot.

Pvt. Wallace also received other extensive injuries. He was flown to a hospital in Germany before being brought to Washington, D.C. for medical treatment.

He iis to undergo surgery on his legs Jan. 8, according to his grandfather.

Right now, on weekends, PFC Wallace, his wife, Tiffany and their son, Chase are staying with his grandparents, Gene and Edna Wallace, who live on County Line Road in McDuffie County. The couple and their son had lived in a small single-wide mobile home in the rear of the elder Wallace's brick home prior to PFC Wallace enlisting in the U.S. Army and being injured in war.

"I was so happy when they told me we could leave Washington," said PFC Wallace. "They were real good to me there. It just wasn't home. It was one of the best Christmas gifts I could have ever gotten."

His wife agreed.

"It feels so good to be back home where we know so many people," said Mrs. Wallace. "We have so many family members and friends around here. This will be as good a therapy for him as any I know."

Mrs. Wallace has been by her husband's side since he arrived in Washington. Family members have helped take care of the young couple's son during the past several months.

"We had been told that Darryl would have to be there for as long as two years getting medical attention," said Gene Wallace.

"We're just so thankful that wasn't the case," added Edna Wallace. "We thank God for answering all of our prayers. He's been so good to all of us and Darryl."

Web posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008

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