Wounded, local soldier coming home - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Wounded, local soldier coming home

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Story by Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter

DADE COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)-- Three months after taking a bullet to the head in Afghanistan, a Tennessee Valley soldier is coming home.

First Lieutenant Bobby Woods earned the nickname 'man of steel' for bandaging his own wound and driving himself to the hospital.

He's spent the past three months in a recovery program in Florida and now his family will soon welcome him home.

The Woods' family is planning a big welcome home party next week.

He's made remarkable progress over the last three months, and is excited to come home much sooner than expected.

Three months ago Lynn Buffington didn't know what the rest of her nephew Bobby Woods' life would look like.

"The doctors, his therapist, they all say he's just had a remarkable recovery," says Buffington.

Things are much different now.

"It'll be good to get home and see everybody," says Bobby Woods.

Pictures of woods were taken in August, while he was still at the Bethesda Medical Center in Maryland.

Since then he's continued his recovery in Tampa, focusing on regaining problem solving and writing skills.

He's done so well he gets to come home next week, way ahead of schedule.

"It didn't even knock me off my feet. It was probably a 400 plus meter shot," says Woods.

Remarkably the first lieutenant suffered little memory loss. He recalls perfectly the day he was shot.

"I don't think most of the guys even knew I was hit for sure until the med-evac guys arrived after we had pushed the enemy out of the area," says Woods.

The latest pictures of Woods at a basketball game in Tampa show the disfigurement in his forehead. He'll have reconstructive surgery in January.

"The one piece of it's still out and then they're also making connector pieces out of titanium," says Woods.

After the surgery the scaring will be minimal. Woods says if the army lets him, he'll go back to Afghanistan.

"I don't want to be one of those guys who just gets out when we still have guys deployed over there," says Woods.

But for now his family's just happy he's coming home.

"The lord has a special purpose for that boy," says Buffington.

Woods will continue his recovery throughout patients programs either through Vanderbilt or University of Alabama at Birmingham.

He has likely lost vision in his left eye permanently.

His welcome home party will be Saturday the 20th in Trenton.

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