Wounded Canadian soldiers return home

Several Canadian soldiers injured this week in Afghanistan arrived in Ottawa Friday evening.

Several Canadian soldiers injured this week in Afghanistan arrived in Ottawa Friday evening.

A Canadian Forces Airbustransported the 11 Canadian soldiers, who either sustained injuries frombattle with the Talibanor during a friendly-fire incident. They were scheduled to be taken to the Civic Hospital in Ottawa.

The soldiers had been recuperating at a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

The long-term prognosis for Pte. Michael Spence, wounded in the friendly fire incident on Monday"is not yet clear," his parents said Friday.

Spence, ofRussell, Ont., "has moved his fingers and toes and has even attempted to speak to the doctors," Rick and Christina Spence said in a statement.

"We are very optimistic at this point, however we do realize that Michael has a long road of recovery ahead of him and it is not yet clear what the long-term prognosis is for our son. We can only hope and pray that he continues to recover well. He is young and very strong, and that will bode well for him."

Spence was among the seven Canadians badly wounded when U.S. aircraft mistakenly attacked them in the early morning as they readied to assaulta Taliban stronghold near Kandahar. Pte. Mark Anthony Graham was killed in the attack.

Spence was placedin a medically induced coma with a serious head wound on Tuesday and had surgery earlier this week. On Wednesday, his neurosurgeon saidSpence was improving.

Canadian commandershave said all but five of the approximately 30 wounded soldiers are expected to return to duty.

According to the Department of National Defence, the 10 returning to Canada (other thanSpence) are:

  • Cpl. BruceMoncur.
  • Cpl. Montgomery MacDonald.
  • Cpl. RyanPagnacco.
  • Cpl. DerickLewis.
  • Sgt. KymCousineau.
  • Maj. MatthewSprague.
  • Master Cpl. Gary Mitchell.
  • Pte.Walter Cummings.
  • Capt. MichelleMendes.
  • Cpl. MatthewBelear.