Thursday, March 31, 2011

LDS U.S. Army Corporal Roger Scherf Survives IED Attack In Afghanistan In October 2009 Only To Die In Washington State Traffic Accident In March 2011

Sometimes the ways of the Lord are absolutely incomprehensible. They will eventually become comprehensible -- but only after we return home from our mortal mission. But one must wonder why a person would survive an IED attack only to depart this earth from a traffic accident just one-and-a-half years later.

That's what happened to U.S. Army Corporal Roger Lee Scherf Jr, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On October 27th, 2009, CPL Scherf, then 19 and assigned to the 1-17, 5th Stryker Brigade, was driving a heavily armored Stryker vehicle in Southern Afghanistan when insurgents detonated a massive IED. Everyone else in the Stryker that day -- seven fellow soldiers and their Afghan interpreter -- were killed. It was the single deadliest incident during the 5th Stryker Brigade's year-long deployment to Afghanistan. But CPL Scherf survived; he was subsequently awarded two Purple Hearts.

However, CPL Scherf was severely wounded. All of his teeth in his mouth were either fractured or shattered, his tongue was lacerated in four pieces. He also sustained brain trauma, a punctured lung, and nerve damage in his back and neck. First CPL Scherf was sent to Germany for initial treatment (most likely at Landstuhl Regional Hospital), then transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After he sufficiently recovered, he was then reassigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion, a unit comprised of soldiers recuperating from injuries or severe illness, at Fort Lewis, Washington (now known as Joint Base Lewis-McChord).

By the way, President Barack Obama met his seven squad members' remains at Dover Air Force Base on November 7, 2009, and personally escorted the caskets from the aircraft. Whatever one thinks about his politics, it appears he takes his duty as Commander-in-Chief seriously.

On March 19th, 2011, CPL Scherf was planning for the future: a cross-country road trip in his Corvette and college. He was driving out to the base in a Ford Focus when he hit a patch of black ice on State Route 507 and slid into the opposite lane, where he was struck and broadsided on the driver's side by a Chevy Impala (the Impala driver survived). The impact was so severe that the driver's door was pushed almost into the passenger seat. Yet he survived, but only long enough for his parents and his mates to say goodbye to him at Madigan Army Medical Center. His mother, Lori Marshall, explained "So I'm just stroking his head and then finally said it's okay, go toward the light, go toward the light. We're going to be okay without you. Uncle Ricky is going to be there. Grandma and Grandpa. Your buddies will be there."

People who have had out-of-body or near-death experiences, regardless of religious belief, commonly report that when they leave their bodies, they're told to go towards the light to paradise, where they will meet up with loved ones and even the Savior Himself on rare occasion.

The Saginaw News also published a lengthy article on him. You can read CPL Scherf's obituary HERE, along with a guest book. After funeral services, he was interred in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Bay City, Michigan. CPL Scherf grew up in Saginaw Township, Michigan as a child. It is still astounding that a man would survive an IED attack only to be taken in a traffic accident such a short time later.

By the way, endowed LDS members serving in the military can obtain special desert-tan temple garments which are compatible with military dress requirements. The sacred marks are silk-screened on the inside of the shirt. Beehive Clothing requires proof of military or police officer status to purchase these garments.

1 comment:

RACHELLE said...

thats my brother!!! he is my hero! thank you for the article!

rachelle scherf hawker