The web page was inspired by Red Bull Rising readers, who had asked for specific names and news of injured soldiers for inclusion in prayer or meditation. Wherever possible, the page also includes notices of fund-raising, memorial, and other events. For example:
Cpl. Adam Eilers, 21, of Garber, was one of three soldiers wounded in Afghanistan's Laghman Province during a Feb. 21 Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) attack. Eliers is a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Battalion.There have certainly been more than eight combat injuries on the deployment. As of April 14, for example, Iowa National Guard officials noted that a total of 12 Iowa "Red Bull" soldiers had been medically evacuated from Afghanistan. Further, this number does not reflect any evacuations having taken place within the 1st Squadron, 134th Cavalry Regiment (1-134th Cav.), a Nebraska Army National Guard unit taking part in the 2-34th BCT deployment.
As of Feb. 23, Eilers was reported to be located at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. In subsequent news reports, family members indicated injuries to Eilers' brain, liver, spleen, and stomach.
A fundraiser event on behalf of the Eilers family is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m., Sat., April 23, at the Lakeside Ballroom, 1202 N 4th St, Guttenberg, Iowa. The event includes a free-will donation pork-sandwich dinner, raffle, and auction. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. A dance will follow at 9 p.m., cover charge $5.
For more information, click here for the April 23 event's Facebook listing.
Send monetary donations to:
Adam Eilers Benefit Fund
c/o Garnavillo Savings Bank
P.O. Box 100
Garnavillo, IA 52049
To the general public, updates on injured soldiers can seem arbitrary and sporadic. Initial reports can take hours or days to process and validate. Then, there are privacy concerns. According to Iowa and Nebraska National Guard spokepeople, medical statuses of injured soldiers are not officially releasable unless soldiers have authorized disclosure of private medical information.
Also, healing and recovery can take weeks, months, and even years. There's a difference between the public's want to know and an individual's need to heal. Each soldier and family must focus on their own priorities, and on their own timelines.
Consider this media morality tale from Staff. Sgt. John Kreisel, a 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (1-34th BCT) soldier who in 2006 lost both legs in an IED attack in Iraq. In "Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel," Kriesel tells of taking a media call on Christmas Day 2006, when he was still in an Army hospital:
Nothing is ever perfect in this crazy world, and even this perfect day suffers a blemish when a news reporter manages to call my room, doing a "Christmas wrap-up on Minnesotans in the War." After agreeing to not ask about Bryan [McDonough] or Corey [Rystad], she jumps right into asking how I feel today about losing two close friends. I start to respond and break down in tears. Pulling myself together, we redo the interview after she promises me that she will not use the part where I choked up. Of course, when it hits the air, my crying is the focus of the story. [p. 171]
Send event notices and news items, updates and corrections regarding the "Help Our Soldiers" page to: sherpa [AT] redbullrising.com.