Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More wounded Wisconsin soldiers identified in Time photo essay

A Time magazine photo essay called "A Window on the War in Afghanistan" includes photos of at least four Wisconsin National Guard soldiers, including three shortly after they were injured by an explosion. They are members of the 951st, a state guard Sapper, or combat engineering, unit that is clearing roads of IEDs.

The photographs were made in September. On Friday a member of the unit was killed and seven were injured by a rocket propelled grenade.

In one of the Time magazine photos, Specialist Codey Johnson of Eau Claire cries while comforting his best friend, Specialist T.J. Fecteau of Scofield. Insignias identifying the soldiers as members of the state guard are visible.

Another shows Sgt. Phil Poitra from Lac du Flambeau with his head bandaged and blood on his face.The magazine reported that he returned to duty.

The fourth soldier, Sgt. Chet Millard, is expected to be on the cover of the magazine, which has been delivered to subscribers.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, said Maj. Jackie Guthrie of the Wisconsin National Guard. Millard is being treated for his injuries in Afghanistan, while Fecteau has been moved to the U.S. for treatment, Guthrie said.

It appears that one or more other photos of soldiers being carried to a helicopter on stretchers are also Wisconsin soldiers, although it's not clear who is who, Guthrie said.