SAN DIEGO – A marine from Camp Pendleton who was injured in the Afghanistan blasts has returned to San Diego for treatment.
Nicole Hood was terrified when news of the Kabul blasts first broke three weeks ago.
Michael Gretzon, a 20-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine, was supposed to be in Afghanistan, she thought.
“We were frozen for the rest of the day until we heard from him, and we didn't hear from him for hours,” Hood recalled.
Hood claims he informed his family that he was alive but injured when he reached out to them. Hood posted a photo of Gretzon taken in the hours following the blast as he was being treated.
“When the explosion happened, Michael was about 10 to 15 feet away,” Hood added.
Hood claims her nephew has been reluctant to speak about the incident, but she believes he was outside the airport, near Abbey Gate when the bomb went off.
His eardrum was blown out, and shrapnel was thrown into his left side by the blast.
“Knock on his left shoulder and bicep. He can't move below his elbow right now. Hood explained, "He's having trouble moving."
Because more testing is needed, the shrapnel has not been removed for fear of causing more harm.
Gretzon had a traumatic brain injury as a result of the blast.
“Right now, his short-term memory is impaired. We're trying to obtain more medical help to see what we can do about it,” Hood added.
Gretzon has received a Purple Heart lately.
Gretzon has been transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland to Naval Medical Center San Diego, according to Hood.
Gretzon is one of 18 service members who have been injured as a result of the bombings. Thirteen people were killed.
"The ones who made it... They're going to spend the rest of their lives reliving and going through it... “We're thankful he's alive, but we're also concerned about his future,” Hood added.
Gretzon wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter after his stint with the Marines, according to Hood.
Hood, who resides in Wisconsin, has started a Gofundme campaign to help cover costs.
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