Local News

Injured Soldier: Casualties 'Part of What We Do'

Posted April 4, 2007

— Four years into the Iraq War, American support for the mission is dwindling and a recent poll shows Iraqis are divided on the issue. But for U.S. troops serving in the war, and especially those injured in the line of duty, the issue is more emotional.

On March 26, Spc. Andrew Harriman stopped being a medic and became a patient instead. The 82nd Airborne soldier had just completed a hunt for insurgents in the Diyala province and was stepping onto the Chinook when he was shot.

"I knew I wasn't going to die, but I couldn't feel my leg," Harriman said. "That was the first time since I'd been in Iraq I was scared."

Two weeks and four surgeries later, Harriman is recovering at Ft. Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center. He's aware of the growing anti-war sentiment, but it doesn't bother him.

"It's mainly misinformation," he said. "If one of my friends protested, I wouldn't be angry with them, because they don't have the information that guys who have been there do."

The wounded vet said troops are making a difference in Iraq, town by town and village by village.

“I can tell we've greatly reduced the Al-Qaeda cells,” Harriman said. “People just read the headlines, they don't read the stories."

There are stories like one in a recent Time magazine, which features Harriman's fateful mission. He’s shown treating another wounded soldier, two days before he would get hit himself.

Given the chance, Harriman said he'd go back to Iraq in a heartbeat and fight with his buddies for what he believes in, even if a majority of his fellow Americans don't.

“The number of coalition troops killed is outrageous,” he said. “But compared to Vietnam in the same time span, the numbers are much smaller. It's going to happen. I'm not saying its acceptable, but it's part of what we do."

Harriman will spend at least two more weeks in the hospital. It's too soon to tell if he will fully recover.


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  • Axtel Apr 12, 2007

    Get the job done, win the war and come home. We love you all.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Apr 10, 2007

    This is refreshing the truth from someone whose been over there, I've had four close buddies/coworkers come back from 1 year rotations and say the same things...we are gaining ground..they would go back if they had too..troop morale is good..and the Iraqi people are for the most part good to them. It's like he said just misinformation being put out in the name of politics.....

  • me-in-raeford Apr 5, 2007

    Sound Man to answer your question...President Pelosi is too busy surrendering Israel to Syria and entertaining the boys of Saudia Arabia with her "women's lib" repertoire

  • wp Apr 5, 2007

    Thank you, Spc. Andrew Harriman. It's finally nice to hear a different side of the story - from someone who has been there. Wish we could hear more stories from guys/gals like you who know we're making a difference! God Bless our troops!

  • ncvaluer Apr 5, 2007

    Just Curious, sorry to hear about your SIL. My SIL lost his right leg in December...we buried him a week before Christmas.

  • Juliett Apr 5, 2007

    What a truly wonderful hero he is! God Bless you Andrew and all the people like you serving their country.

  • just curious Apr 5, 2007

    My son-in-law was injured in Iraq in November 2004. He lost the lower half of his left leg. He has fought to stay in the Army and will soon go back to Iraq to defend his country and do his JOB! I am very proud of him and support all of our service men. A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF OUR TROOPS!

  • podtalk Apr 5, 2007

    This story is not accurate at all, American support is not dwindling, just the democratic party is wanting to see our troops fail. In fact, they can't afford for us to win since they've been against it from the start. How come we never ever hear any of the good that's going on in Iraq. Answer that WRAL, if you'll even post this.

  • ncvaluer Apr 5, 2007

    God bless you and all the troups over there. I know first hand of the sacrifices that are made by our men and women in uniform. Thanks for the freedom that I sometimes take for granted.

  • ncvaluer Apr 5, 2007

    I am so thankful that we have soldiers like Harriman. He WANTS to be there and make a difference. That%d_text=I am so thankful that we have soldiers like Harriman. He WANTS to be there and make a difference. That's