Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

April 17, 2012

Local soldier injured in combat recovering from wounds

ELKHART — A Concord High School graduate, now a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who was shot while working with his dog in Afghanistan April 9, has arrived in Houston for surgery and rehabilitation.

Sgt. Aaron Yoder, a 2005 Concord graduate, was shot in his right leg while trying to protect his dog, Bart, as they searched for roadside bombs in southern Afghanistan. He was fired upon by Taliban fighters. The dog was not hurt.

Yoder arrived at Fort Sam Houston on Friday and was scheduled to undergo his fifth surgery today and a sixth this coming Friday, according to his sister, Amanda Green, who lives in Illinois. He may be at the Texas hospital for six months, she said.

Yoder will undergo multiple surgeries to reduce infection in his leg and it will be months before he is able to walk again, Green said. “I am so proud of him and what he did to protect his dog,” she said.

She said Yoder and Bart may be reunited next week.

The family has a site on Facebook called “Aaron and Bart updates.” Mail may be sent to Yoder at Army Liaison Office, Attn. Sgt. Aaron Yoder, 3851 Roger Brook Drive, Bldg 3600 Room 113-10 Ft. Sam Houston TX 78234.

Also, Green said there has been a local bank account established for anyone wanting to assist Yoder and his family. Lake City Bank will have a donation account set up as Aaron and Bart.

Green said their parents, Dave and Dawn Yoder, Elkhart, flew to Texas Monday to be with Aaron.

Aaron joined the Army in 2007 and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is single and stationed at Fort Polk, La. While a student at Concord he was active in the marching band.

When The News asked Green to describe her brother, she wrote:

“I still see him as my little brother, but he’s a man now. He’s compassionate, loves Jesus, selfless and strong. Aaron loves jazz music and plays the saxophone. That’s my favorite, listening to him play, it’s soothing, comforting, he draws you into his piece of music and holds you there.

“Think of Kenny G, that’s my brother on the sax. Both my brothers, Adam and Aaron, have always been close — they were a year apart in school. They both played in Concord Marching Band and played church league softball with my dad. Adam, Aaron and Dad were always out in the backyard throwing the ball, wrestling in the house or playing Xbox, trying to outdo the other with the better score.

“I will definitely wish him the best and will send hugs his way, especially once we get there,” Green said.  

Green added, “This has been a very humbling week, with the amount of contacts and resources we have been given. I am completely in awe of the community and the love and support the family has received. My focus right now is to help my parents through this so they don’t have to be worried about anything back home but focus on my brother in Texas.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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