From Brother Tom:
I have been in contact with Wilmer Apolo. From the report and pictures below, it’s been an exciting and dangerous time for Wilmer. In the photograph, Wilmer is the third from the right. As you can see, he is not the tallest man in the group. However, he’s got to be one of the best. I think you will find his account interesting.
I will start by saying hello to everyone that knows me and prays for me. Thank you for your prayers. God is by my side and listening and watching me. I’ve been here 6 months now, and we have about 6 to 7 months left. I can’t wait until I see Germany again, and be back with my family.
It is the scariest experience of my life being here in Iraq. Our job is to find and destroy IED’S (improvised explosive devices), what reporters call Roadside Bombs. Our vehicle at the time consisted of five guys, SSG McKinney; my squad leader, SGT Rie; Alpha Team Leader, SGT Gibson; Bravo Team Leader; SPC Channey, the driver and myself. I love doing what I do; it’s a cool job. Every time we get one or find one, we sure get happy because we have just saved someone’s life. Insurgents (bad guys) like to hide IED’S almost everywhere in the road. Sometimes we can see it and sometimes we don’t see it. Just the other night, an IED hit my vehicle. It was a long night after that for me. It took us by surprise. Most of the time we can see it. This road was a new route for us and Insurgents in that area like to hide IED’S using different methods. I can’t say much about it, but the IED that hit our vehicle was under the road. It looked like a regular road; nothing wrong, just a normal road. The IED went off on the rear left side of the vehicle. I am the gunner of the vehicle and that IED went off right underneath where I sit. It took us for a trip and almost flipped our vehicle over to the front and moved it to the right a little.
It took a while for the vehicle to come down from the blast, at least that’s how it seemed to me. My Bravo Team Leader (SGT Gibson) and myself were out of breath, and I was moaning in pain. My Bravo Team Leader was having trouble breathing. Our situation wasn’t serious, so we were okay, but I kept moaning in pain. My Alpha Team Leader noticed my left foot was bleeding and they started to take my boot and sock off to see what was wrong with my foot. They bandaged it up to stop the bleeding. SGT Gibson and myself were casualty evacuated for more evaluations. I was told I have a hole on my foot the size of a dime and a depth ½ inch deep. I was scared because of the pain. I thought my leg was broken but God took care of us and I still have my leg today. SGT Gibson is on painkillers for his back. The rest of the guys in the vehicle are fine, just some bruises. They are okay and working as I write this to you. It will be at least a month or two before I start to work again, and I can’t wait to go out again.
I don’t know if you remember I told you I might re-enlist and then it was a 50/50. I wasn’t sure yet. Yes, I am going to re-enlist. I am just waiting for September, and I will re-enlist for 4 years. Hopefully I will get to stay in Germany. My family and I love it there.
THAT’S ALL I HAVE FOR NOW.
Editor’s Note: Wilmer would be delighted to hear from you. Please support him with a letter.
PFC Apolo, Wilmer
B.CO 54th IN BN
APO AE 09396
Wilmer Apolo sent this latest picture of him convalescing with some of his buddies. I would also like to submit his email address for those who find it easier to communicate by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sure he would appreciate any mail of any kind but email is the fastest and easiest to send.