Spc. Uriah Horst, 21, a member of the 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne), was wounded at about 11 p.m. Monday Afghanistan time, his wife Rhianne Horst said Wednesday. She said a mortar round went off near him, and he sustained serious abdominal injuries.
The 18th Fires Brigade is based in Fort Bragg, N.C., according to the brigade website. A part of the 82nd Airborne Division, the brigade provides fire support to other units, the website said.
"I was able to talk to him and have a good conversation," Rhianne Horst said.
He was still in Afghanistan awaiting additional surgery before being flown out to Germany for further treatment, she said.
"The last I heard, he was about to go into surgery," Rhianne Horst said.
Horst joined the Army in February 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in December 2010, she said. He was back in the United States on leave in June and returned to Afghanistan about one month ago, she said.
Her husband's tour was supposed to end in October, she said.
"I learned he was awarded the Purple Heart on Tuesday," said Uriah's father, Richard Horst, also of Martinsburg. He said he got a phone call from the Army at 4 a.m. Tuesday informing him of his son being wounded.
"I believe he's going to come out of it just fine," Richard Horst said. "It's a sad thing. I hate that it happened, but it's a fact of life."
Neither the father nor wife knew the exact location of the base where Uriah Horst was serving.
Sgt. James Bunn of the 18th Fires Brigade Public Affairs Office said Wednesday that he had not yet received any information regarding Horst, but would release it when it becomes available.
"My older son, Richard Jr., served two tours in Iraq and came home without a scratch," Richard Horst said.
Another son, Ryan, was also in the Army and served overseas in Korea, he said.
One of Uriah Horst's cousins, however, was wounded while serving with the Army in Iraq, Richard Horst said.
Mary Burral, formerly of Boonsboro, sustained a broken leg and shrapnel injuries when the truck she was driving was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade on May 16, 2003, according to a 2004 story in The Herald-Mail. A year later she took medical retirement from the Army, the story said.