Two wounded Dubuque County soldiers come home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two wounded Dubuque County soldiers come home

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -

A crowd of about 200 excited people gathered at the Dubuque Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon to welcome home two National Guard soldiers, both of whom were wounded in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Brian Pfeiler, 28, of Earville and Spc. Cody Skahill, 19, of Dubuque, both arrived on the 1:35 p.m. flight from Chicago.

"There's Daddy!" Pfeiler's wife Katie Pfeiler said to the couple's three-year-old daughter, who then ran into her daddy's arms.

Sgt. Pfeiler stepped on a landmine on Jan. 6, requiring the removal of his right leg from the knee down. Now, however, he stands tall, thanks to a prosthetic leg.

He even took part in a 5K race several weeks ago.

"Well, I wouldn't say I ran it, but I finished it," Pfeiler said outside the airport.

An avenue of flags ushered the family of three to their motorcade.

"I knew there was going to be a few people here, but I don't know if I was expecting this many," Pfeiler said.

Spc. Skahill echoed Pfeiler's surprise, later at his hotel in Dubuque.

"I didn't expect all that," Skahill said. "It was really great to see that there's that many people out there that support us, especially the injured ones."

On April 22, Skahill received a friendly fire gunshot wound to the chest from a fellow soldier, leaving him paralyzed, for now, from the chest down.

"It's still kind of hard to see him like that," Skahill's sister Britini Skahill said. "I think it's going to take everyone a little while to get used to it, and just seeing everyone so happy that he's home, it was just a lot of emotions."

A motorcycle escort brought Skahill to Dubuque's Holiday Inn and Pfeiler to his home in Earlville. The men are now enjoying rest and time with their loved ones.

"I missed just being around family," Pfeiler said.

Both servicemen and their families said they are so grateful for the community support, both at the airport Wednesday and in fundraisers and outreach in the past several months. They also said they hope to welcome back their fellow members of the 1-133rd to Dubuque.

Skahill returns in a week to the Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Pfeiler, too, is only home for a month before he returns to Texas for continued treatment.

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