Soldier home for holidays

Posted Dec. 23, 2009, at 9:22 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:07 p.m.

SANGERVILLE, Maine — A local soldier who was injured Oct. 17 while serving in Iraq is home for the holidays.

Sgt. Darrell Spaulding, 38, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being struck on the back of the head with a helmet, is home until the first of the year, according to his wife, Shannon Spaulding. She declined to discuss the details of the incident in which her husband was injured other than to say the military is investigating.

Shannon Spaulding said her husband, a member of the Army Reserve’s 619th Transportation Company of Dexter and Auburn, is “functional”; he’s walking and talking, but he doesn’t remember the injury. The blow came dangerously close to a major artery, so Spaulding said the family feels lucky that Darrell is alive.

The Spauldings grew up in the Sangerville region and have two children who attend SAD 4 schools. Shannon Spaulding is an education technician at Piscataquis Community Middle School, where faculty and students recently held a fundraising dinner for the family. More than $1,000 was raised during the meal. The Harmony Hill Band donated entertainment at the function.

“I can’t say enough” about the help offered to the family, Shannon Spaulding said Wednesday. She said from the Army Reserve unit to the local schools and community, the support has been wonderful.

“We’re ready for him to come home and complete the healing process,” she said. Her husband will return in January to Fort Gordon, Ga., where he is being treated. In the meantime, the family is having him transferred home through a warrior-in-transition unit, which basically would mean he would remain on active duty until he is healed, she said.

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