WAYNESBORO, Pa.—A U.S. Marine from Waynesboro injured in Afghanistan was expected to arrive at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Tuesday evening for continued treatment of fractured vertebrae.
Lance Cpl. Matthew Shank, 21, was wounded when an MRAP all-terrain vehicle hit a roadside bomb Saturday, according to his mother, Kim Shank of Quincy Township, Pa.
All five of the vehicle's occupants were expected to survive, Kim Shank said.
"We were fortunate enough to receive a phone call from Matthew himself. ... It was a real blessing," Kim Shank said.
He was being treated at a hospital in Germany prior to his transfer to the Bethesda facility.
Matthew Shank, a 2007 graduate of Hagerstown's Heritage Academy, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps two years ago.
"He always wanted to be in the military, ever since he was a little kid," Kim Shank said, adding that her son briefly changed his mind in high school but was drawn back to military service during patriotic holidays.
Matthew Shank's unit, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, deployed in January for his first tour overseas. He and his fiancee, Lindsay McKenzie, are planning an October wedding.
Matthew Shank's parents received the call from him Saturday morning, which started an outpouring of support from their friends at Waynesboro's Grace Baptist Church. Eric and Kim Shank notified Matthew's brothers, Andrew and David, after the call in which Matthew seemed calm.
"When he called me and started the conversation, I didn't have any clue anything was out of the ordinary," Kim Shank said of her son's demeanor.
Matthew Shank's family planned to travel to Bethesda Wednesday to see him in person.
"We don't really know what to expect with rehabilitation and recovery," Kim Shank said, saying she talked briefly with nurses at the hospital in Germany.