July 2, 2007

Neighbors welcome injured soldier back from Iraq

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Friends, neighbors, and members of the Lester Prairie and New Germany American Legion posts greeted Specialist 4th Class Alex Guevara with applause and thanks when he returned home to Lester Prairie June 27.

Guevara had been serving in Iraq since his deployment in March 2005.

Recently, Guevara was driving a Humvee when he began to experience symptoms similar to a heart attack.

He pulled over to change drivers, and after exiting the vehicle, he collapsed on the side of the road.

It was later determined that he had suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of being exposed to explosions over the course of his deployment.

Guevara was sent to Germany and then to North Carolina and Illinois before returning to Lester Prairie.

He is on medical hold until November.

During this period, he will report to the Hutchinson Armory daily.

Other members of Guevara’s unit are scheduled to return home soon.

More than 2,600 National Guard soldiers who are members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division deployed out of Hutchinson are expected to return sometime in mid to late July.

Those present at Guevara’s homecoming expressed appreciation for his service, offered their assistance, and wished him well before leaving to allow him to begin adjusting to life at home.

The well-wishers did not stay long, out of respect for Guevara’s privacy and his right not to talk about his experiences unless he chooses to do so.

Guevara does not yet know what will happen after November.

His enlistment runs through 2010.

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