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Sgt. Edward W. Shaffer, who was based in Friedberg, Germany, was burned over most of his body by a roadside bomb in Iraq before he later died of his wounds in the U.S., according to a newspaper report.

“He had a skin graft and it didn’t take, so from that point on, they couldn’t do anything more for him,” Edward L. Shaffer, his grandfather, told The Herald-Mail newspaper, based in Hagerstown, Md. “The infection took over.”

Shaffer’s hands and left foot had to be amputated, the paper reported.

In Shaffer’s final days, his father, Edward C. Shaffer, and his mother, Brenda, would talk to him “and they said sometimes it looked like he had a smile ... but there wasn’t any real communication,” according to the grandfather.

Shaffer, 23, of Mont Alto, Pa., was injured Nov. 13 in Ramadi when the bomb went off near his Bradley fighting vehicle, the paper said. He died at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Shaffer, who was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, had been in the Army for three years, his grandfather said.

Members of Shaffer’s platoon, still stationed in Iraq, sent Shaffer’s grandfather a card bearing more than 30 signatures.

One soldier wrote that the family “groomed and raised one of the greatest American heroes and greatest friends I have ever had the privilege of having in my life,” his grandfather read to the Herald-Mail, choking back tears.

He said his grandson was quiet and likable.

Funeral arrangements in Pennsylvania have yet to be finalized.


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