March 3, 2005--Posted at 10:45 p.m. CST
JONESBORO--A Region 8 soldier stared a suicide bomber in the eye, moments before he blew himself up. Army Specialist Kevin Cooper is recovering from injuries from that blast that happened Saturday in Iraq. His mother and father live in Jonesboro and say their son is exactly where he wants to be.
"The first thing that I did was, dear Lord bring that boy home, safely," said Kevin's mother, Pat Cooper. Cooper said that prayer after learning last month that her 30 year old son, Army Specialist Kevin Cooper, was going to Iraq.
"If women governed, there would be no wars, because no momma is going to send her son to war," said Cooper. But Pat says she's not surprised her son is in iraq, because even at four, Kevin was already decked out in army fatigues. "Even though Kevin is not a little boy, to me he always will be and to be helpless in determining whether your child is safe in a situation like this is difficult. He told me this is what I'm trained for and this is my job."
On Saturday, just three weeks into his job in Iraq, Kevin's patrol was hit by a suicide bomber and Kevin looked him in the eye moments before the blast. He suffered flash burns, shrapnel in one hand and a blown eardrum, but was able to call home from the hospital.
"He said I'm OK, but... and I think his primary concern and I appreciate this so much.. He said the driver was killed and he's such a nice man," recalled Pat. A soldier from his squad also died. Kevin is going to be OK, but might lose the hearing in one of his ears.