UPDATE: Garber family speaks about National Guard soldiers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Garber family speaks about National Guard soldiers injured in Afghanistan

Spc. Adam Eilers Spc. Adam Eilers
Pfc.  Caleb J. Redell Pfc. Caleb J. Redell

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Three Iowa-based soldiers with the 133rd Infantry were hospitalized, after being hit by an IED in Afghanistan. 23-year-old specialists Adam Eilers, from Garber, and 20-year-old Andrew Zimmerman, from Camanche, along with 22-year-old Private First Class Caleb Redell of Erie, Illinois were riding in an armored vehicle when insurgents detonated the improvised explosive device Monday.

All three are members of the Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division based in Dubuque.

Sunday night Patrick and Kathy Eilers used SKYPE to call their son, Adam, in Afghanistan.

"He said 'well I gotta go I got a mission tonight.' and that was the last we heard from him," Adam's father Patrick Eilers said.

Monday afternoon the Eilers received the call that any military family fears.

"It's like somebody was tearing a piece of heart away," Patrick said.

They received word that their son was in critical condition after being hit by a roadside bomb.

"We all were very emotional. The bad part is you don't know where he's at. And you don't know if they're telling you the hole story about his condition," Patrick said.

This was Eilers second deployment, his first was to Kosovo. But he volunteered for this one.

"He would have been out of it in September of last year but when he found out that his buddies were going over there he wanted to be with them," Patrick said.

But he wanted to be with the army long before that Eilers joined the army at the age of 17.

"Every since he was a little boy he had all these little army guys that he would set up and from then on he was all army," Patrick said.

Now, as they wait to hear the extent of their son's injuries, they find strength in the phone calls, e-mails and memories.

"Me and his mother love him very much, we miss him and we're proud of him," Patrick said when we asked what he would like to say to his son.

The Eilers say they're grateful for the support they've already received. Patrick works at John Deere in Dubuque and say his co-workers have helped him get through this tough time.

Eilers, Zimmerman and Redell were evacuated to the U.S. military hospital at Bagram Air Base for treatment according to the Iowa National Guard.  The Guard has not released their conditions.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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