Chilton Co. soldier injured in Afghanistan

CLANTON, AL (WSFA) - It's the most encouraging news a Chilton County family could have hoped for. Their soldier - injured in Afghanistan - is alive and expected to make a full recovery.

"He is a fighter," Mary Sazera says of her son, Donny Eslinger, adding that he was meant to be a soldier, "...since he was 5 years old."

And she says, "he just got a tattoo right before he left, 'I sacrifice for the ones I love', and then this happens".

On his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, and just a week after returning from his R&R at home, Eslinger took an indirect hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.

"He has two collapsed lungs, seeping wound, broken leg, shrapnel wounds," the soldier's mom says. It's hard news to hear, and mom says, "he doesn't even know he's alive yet".

But with his first surgery behind him, they expect he'll make a full recovery. "He's in a medically induced coma," Sazera explains. "I just want to be there when he opens his eyes."

Since she cant be there, all she can do here is pray. "Continue to pray for his complete healing, and continue to pray for his mind and what he's going to go through when he does get home, how he's going to take and accept what has happened with him."

Eslinger will be transferred to a hospital in Germany and then to a military hospital in the United States.

There is no timetable for those moves yet.

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