Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

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February 22, 2013

Wilkinson's long journey home


David Wilkinson wants to come home, but until he is medically discharged from the U.S. Army he will remain in White Sands, N.M.

Wilkinson, of Glasgow, was injured in October 2010 in Afghanistan.

“We were on a convoy and basically, a guy with a RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] shot at our truck and it killed my driver, which caused the truck to veer out of control and flip over many times into a rice paddy,” he said.

Wilkinson sustained a traumatic brain injury, a broken arm, shrapnel damage to one of his legs, severe burns to his back, legs, hands and arms and a dislocated elbow. In addition to his injuries, he also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD and sleep apnea.  

He is still receiving counseling and treatment for the PTSD, and because of the injuries he sustained in the crash, he is limited to what he can do physically.

Wilkinson works as a mechanic on the military base.

“I can’t really do it because of my condition,” he said. “I’m pretty much just sitting around.”

Wilkinson has inquired about receiving his medical discharge several times and each time he is told the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Veterans Affairs is working on it and that he should hear something soon.

“It’s just drawing out longer and longer,” he said. “I’m not getting the kind of attention that I think I   should get.”

David is originally from Georgia, but his wife, Jennifer, is a Barren County native.

When David began the process of seeking his medical discharge, he and Jennifer thought it would only be a few months before he would be discharged from the Army and they would be able to move back home to Kentucky. Keeping that in mind, they decided Jennifer would move to Glasgow, where she has family, find a job and enroll their daughter, Madeline, in school as a kindergartner. Once David received his discharge, he would join them.

“That was a year-and-a-half ago,” Jennifer said. “And we are still waiting.”

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Saturday's Glasgow Daily Times.


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