Mid-Michigan Army ranger seriously wounded in Syrian bombing

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (1/17/2019) - Wednesday was the deadliest day for U.S. military in Syria since troops arrived more than four years ago.

Two U.S. soldiers and two American civilians were killed during a suicide bombing. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three U.S. troops were also hurt during the explosion, including a mid-Michigan army ranger.

Captain Jonathan Turnbull's family said he survived the attack, but is fighting for his life right now.

Captain Turnbull attended Kearsley High School, his wife Samantha graduated from Davison.

She's on her way overseas to help him through recovery.

"Freedom isn't free. He's always said that. We didn't realize the cost of that until 24 hours ago," Sarah Williams said.

Her sister called her early Wednesday morning to tell her that her husband, Williams' brother-in-law, was fighting for his life.

"We're very thankful that he's going to survive. We didn't think that at one point," she said.

Williams said the 32-year-old Army Ranger was rushed to Iraq where he underwent surgery to remove shrapnel. A shunt has been placed in his head to relieve pressure. He's already lost vision in his right eye from the explosion.

"Our thing is faith over fear," Captain Turnbull's Aunt Suzanne Hollister said. "So, God has protected him so far. He's been a miracle, they said that he shouldn't have made it and he's made it."

Hollister said her nephew was care-flighted to Germany Thursday, where his wife is expected to meet him.

Hollister will be helping his parents take care of their 6-year-old grandson over the next few weeks

"We didn't think -- I mean, he was supposed to be home Monday. He was coming home on Monday, just a couple of days ago," she said. "And, he didn't come home on Monday. And, we thought it's not long, God is protecting him and God is still protecting him."

Due to his captain responsibilities, Hollister explained his homecoming was delayed.

She added her nephew, his wife and their young son were planning on retiring soon and moving back to Michigan. She said they already bought a house in Clio.

"Just pray and pray and pray," Williams said. "Our main goal right now is just to get him back home on American soil and just for his healing. It's gonna be a lengthy healing, but he's a strong guy. And, just as a community, just give that outpouring of love, that's all we ask for."

The family added Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Congressman Dan Kildee have already reached out to lend support.

If you'd like to help their family, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.

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