Saturday, March 29, 2003

Friendly fire wounds Ross Marine

Tristate reacts to war

A 19-year-old Marine from Ross, Ohio, was wounded near the Iraqi town of An Nasiriyah Friday in what was apparently a "friendly fire'' incident.

Michael Varner, a 19-year-old combat engineer with the 2nd Marine Division, was shot in the left leg and had shrapnel in his back, according to his mother, Melanie Varner of Ross.

Mrs. Ross said she and her husband Mike Varner were called by Marine officials early Friday and were told that the wounds to their son came from "friendly fire.''

The wounded Marine was treated first at a trauma center on the Nasiriyah battlefield and taken by helicopter to a military hospital in Kuwait where surgery was to be performed. Mrs. Varner said she and her husband are awaiting word on whether their son will be sent to a military hospital in Germany, Spain or in the U.S. for further treatment.

"Mrs. Varner said her son joined the Marines shortly after his graduation from Ross High School last year.

Howard Wilkinson

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