A US soldier in Afghanistan has described his first day as a ”very, very rough”.
The 28-year-old enlisted in November, but he was unable to take part in the training because of a head injury and could not train as he was physically fit.
But he was able to make it back to base on Wednesday after undergoing a ”first-time surgery”.
The veteran has returned to duty as an army infantryman and has been named the first person to serve in the combat zone since the US started combat operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
Sergeant 1st Class John Sorensen, of San Antonio, Texas, who was injured on his first morning of the combat training, said the first day was ”not easy”. ”I didn�t know if the mission was going well, but I thought, `OK, I�m going to get through it,� he said. ”I wasn�t expecting to come out the door to go home.
”My head hurt, but it was OK.
The pain was gone.
”It was the first time I had ever seen a soldier get knocked out like that, but they were all doing pretty well.”
Sergeant Sorersen said he was told to stand at attention while a medical team attended to him.
He said he received a ”good dose of adrenaline” and said he had no problems during the day.
He returned to the training site on Thursday.
He was initially told he would not be able to return to the base until the end of the month but the new training was delayed due to his injury.
Sergeant Sorenson said the new military standard was for soldiers to be able return to duty within three months.
He had no regrets about returning to duty, and said his injuries were not severe.
Sergeant Major Steve Pugh, commander of US Army Forces Command in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, said he believed Sergeant Soresen would be able ”to get back on the job”.
”He�s a very, very good soldier, and we expect the same from all of our soldiers, and he will be,” he said in a statement.
Sergeant Colonel Scott Gulliver, a spokesman for US Army Afghanistan Command, said Sergeant Sosten had completed basic training and had been given the assignment of a soldier in the medical unit.
”His physical fitness has improved since his first time in the field, and this was an excellent example of the Army�s efforts to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our troops,” he added.