Tanya Campbell said her husband, Michael Campbell, left a hospital in Germany early Friday just hours after family and friends gathered at Hardin’s Chapel Church for a special prayer for the soldier, who turns 27 today.
“He is on a flight right now,” Tanya Campbell said Friday. “His first stop is Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. I talked to him Thursday about 11:30 p.m. before his flight. He was in pain but looking forward to getting back to the United States. I am so excited about Michael coming home. Hopefully, I will see him soon.”
Campbell was one of 11 U.S. soldiers shot on Sept. 7 by a man wearing the uniform of an Iraqi soldier. The man climbed a security wall and opened fire on the sleeping servicemen.
“Two of our soldiers were killed,” Campbell said last week from a hospital bed in Germany. “The gunman was later killed by American soldiers,” Campbell said.
Campbell was shot in the abdomen, and the bullet went through his stomach. The bullet nicked his colon and fractured his left ileac wing. He had surgery in Iraq, with doctors removing his intestines and a portion of his colon in an attempt to stabilize his condition. Afterward, Campbell was flown to the hospital in Germany, a five-hour flight.
Tanya Campbell said it was an honor to be part of a prayer service Thursday for her husband.
“It was very nice and touching to know so many people care,” she said.
The Rev. Doug Ford led the prayer for Campbell. He read Scripture from Luke 11 about how the disciples said to Jesus, “Teach us to pray.”
Campbell’s mother, Sue Campbell, said all she can say right now is, “God is good.”
“I’m so glad he is on his way home,” she said. “The prayer service was awesome. Even though some family members and friends were unable to attend the prayer service, I know Michael and his family were in their thoughts and prayers wherever they were.”
Campbell’s sister, Alicia Campbell, said she loved the prayer service.
“Brother Doug did an awesome job,” she said. “You walk away from him with a peaceful heart. I was touched by the kindness and generosity shown from people who stopped by to pray. Some people I did not even know, but they took time out of their busy schedules.”
Yellow ribbons are popping up all over the Ragland community to show support for Campbell.
Alicia Campbell said the idea for the yellow ribbons started with her neighbor, Betty Miller.
“All I did was help get the ball rolling,” she said. “I made several ribbons, as did Lil’ Orphan Annie’s Floral & Gift Shop. The yellow ribbon symbolizes four things: homecoming, reunion, welcoming and love.”
Tammy Phillips, co-owner of the gift shop, said once people start seeing yellow ribbons across town, they will want to participate and support Campbell and his family.
Campbell’s other sister, Paula Campbell, said she was sure her brother knew they were having the prayer service.
“It went well and I appreciate those who came,” she said. “I know prayers can be answered. I am so thankful my brother knows whom to turn to in situations like this and that is the Lord. I’m very excited about him coming back. Just as soon as we are allowed to see him, we are on the first plane out of here.”
Blake Campbell is glad his brother is coming home.
“The prayer service was a great thing Hardin’s Chapel did Thursday night,” he said. “There are not enough words to express what Doug Ford and his family does for us. The entire community has shown so much support and we are very appreciative.”
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org