Iowa National Guard Cpl. Adam Eilers, 24, of Garber, Iowa, is fighting to come home. Eilers is a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (1-133rd Inf.), headquartered in Waterloo. He was injured Feb. 21, 2011, in Afghanistan's Laghman Province when a homemade bomb exploded under the armored vehicle in which he was riding. Three other soldiers were injured in the incident.
Last Sunday, Sept. 18, the Des Moines (Iowa) Register's Tony Leys profiled Eilers in an exceptionally clear-eyed, compelling, and informative newspaper feature headlined "From the Edge of Death to Rehab: A soldier fights back." The package includes a video interview with Eilers, as well as additional photographic coverage by the Register's Mary Chind.
Even before his injury, Eilers showed up in media coverage of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division deployment.
Prior to mobilization, in August 2010, Des Moines (Iowa) Register writer Reid Forgrave told a story about Eilers and his Eastern Iowa buddies mucking about on some Eastern Iowa backroads. He also showed up briefly in a Red Bull Rising blog-post about a September 2010 live-fire exercise at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.
According to this week's newspaper article, Eilers cheekily charges $5 per person to visit his Minnesota hospital room. He says it's keg money for a bonfire party he'll hold at home in Iowa next spring.
People and organizations wishing to help offset Eilers' more serious expenses, however, can continue to send monetary donations to:
Adam Eilers Benefit Fund
c/o Garnavillo Savings Bank
P.O. Box 100
Garnavillo, IA 52049