Soldier back in U.S., faces long recovery

MEEKER — Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Saucedo, the husband of Deni Back of Meeker, was able to be transferred last Friday from Germany to a military hospital in Washington, D.C., but he’s still listed in serious condition.
However, the good news, said Deni’s father George Back, is Saucedo, who was wounded July 27 during a nighttime mission in Iraq, is improving. And he’s expected to make a full recovery.
But it will take time. A lot of time.
“He had a lot of damage,” George Back said. “So, he’s going to be there quite awhile. But he is in good spirits, and he’s doing good.”
Deni arrived at the Washington hospital about the same time her husband did. She traveled from their home in Copperas Cove, Texas. Her mother, Peggy, is there now, staying with the couple’s nearly 14-month-old daughter, Sineca.
“Deni is there with him,” George said. “And his folks (from Texas) are there also.”
Saucedo, who has been in the Army for eight years, remembers everything from the night when he was wounded, George said.
“He’s a scout, and they were on a raid, a nighttime raid,” George Back said. “They broke into a house, and he got shot. His troops got him out of there, and put him a Blackhawk helicopter within 30 minutes, headed to a hospital in Iraq, which saved his life.”
The bullet entered the inside of Saucedo’s thigh, and exited through the buttocks.
“It bounced around in there,” George Back said, “and did a lot of internal damage. Right now, the big thing is blood clots and infection.”
George said his daughter was holding up well.
“She’s doing good, once she got to talk to him,” George said. “They had him pretty doped up for the first couple of days. She got to talk to him after he was in Germany.”
George said he had no idea how long his son-in-law would be in the hospital.
“They just said it would take a long time to recover,” he said. “They talked about it will be six months before they take the bag off of him.”
Deni Saucedo wasn’t told much about her husband’s condition at first.
“She didn’t have a clue how bad he was hurt,” George said. “They didn’t give her too much information. She didn’t know how severe it was until she got to Washington.”
George didn’t know how long his daughter would stay in Washington.
“She works for the state of Texas,” he said. “Where she works, they all donated their vacation, so she’s got a bunch of time (off).”
The Backs — George and Peggy — received the dreaded telephone call from their daughter on July 27, saying her husband had been wounded.
“It’s (the phone call) you don’t want to hear about,” George said. “But, like (Deni) said, it’s better to get the phone call than to have the (military) car pull up out front.”