Pfc. Erin McLyman wanted to return to Iraq. A broken neck couldn’t stop her.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suffered the injury during leave earlier this year. She told her commanders in the 296th Brigade Support Battalion she planned come back as quickly as she could.
Against the odds, McLyman rejoined her comrades on Feb. 14.
And less than a month later, an indirect-fire round killed the 26-year-old Eugene, Ore., native.
“It is no secret that she quite easily could have parlayed her circumstance to personal advantage,” Lt. Col. Elisabeth Crooks said Wednesday during McLyman’s memorial service at Lewis-McChord. “But Pfc. McLyman’s sense of duty and loyalty to her team drove her back to theater to stand beside Arrowhead soldiers in combat, once again.”
Crooks, who was reading comments made by battalion commander Lt. Col. Hayden Hungerford during a memorial service earlier this month in Iraq, didn’t give the date or events that led to McLyman’s injury. But Crooks talked of an extensive recovery period and said there was initially little hope McLyman would be medically cleared to return to combat.
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