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Shelley Osterloh reporting One Utah Family is relieved their wounded soldier isn't hurt as badly as first reported. Corporal Wayde Broberg of Midvale was one of the three Utah soldiers who were injured by shrapnel in Iraq.
Marine Corporal Broberg was among the first U.S. soldiers to enter Baghdad. His wife, Tonja Broberg, says his unit was under fire. He told her he saw two of his buddies injured -- Utahns Lance Corporal Roger Anderson and Corporal Scott Lee-- and went to help.
"All of a sudden enemy fire started coming again. He said he started shooting rounds off to them, and then he was thrown ten feet. He doesn't remember much after that other than that he was in a lot of pain," Tonja says. "He was unconscious a little bit and that's why they initially said shrapnel to the face and spinal injuries, just becauset they didn't know."
It turned out his injuries were not that severe. But the family didn't know that, until Wayde managed to call his brother, Ron, at 3 am Wednesday.
"Is it really you?" he asked. "'Yeah, it's me. Tell everybody I'm okay. Tell my wife I'm okay. I can't talk on the phone long. I'm not supposed to be on the phone. Tell my wife I'm okay. I can't remember her number."
Wayde was likely disoriented from his concussion, but he got her number and called Tonja that night.
"He said, 'Babe, it's me,'" she says. "I was crying. 'Are you okay, are you hurt?' He said, 'No, I'm okay, but I'm hurt.'"
Wayde suffered burns to his face, blurred vision, and shrapnel wounds to his hands.
The 25-year-old general contractor from Midvale left his family and business to serve his country a year ago as a marine reservist. He is an avid hunter, who loves the outdoors, and enjoys playing with his two-year-old son.
Family and friends are grateful he'll be okay and that it won't be long before this soldier comes home.
"We got a motor for a duck boat, and we want Wayde to come home and go duck hunting with us," says his friend, Kody Sheffield.
Wayde's cousin, Simmonie Broberg, says, "We are extremely proud of him for doing what he's done for our country."
"I couldn't be any prouder," Tonja says. "I don't think anybody could. And his little boy is excited for him to come home."
But they say their thoughts and prayers will continue for all American soldiers.
"It's a big family of soldiers, and I hope they all come home safe," Ron says.
Tonja got another call this morning from Wayde and he is doing much better. He's still having some blurred vision, but doctors are optimistic that will clear up.