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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 19:41 GMT
Soldiers expect to return to Iraq
Sergeant Raymond Littlefield (left) and Sergeant Christopher Nelson
Sergeants Littlefield and Nelson were lightly injured
Two US soldiers wounded when their helicopter was shot down in Iraq on Sunday have said they expect to return to Iraq soon.

Army Sergeants Christopher Nelson and Raymond Littlefield are among 26 soldiers being treated in Germany.

Fifteen of their colleagues died in the attack on what was the US forces' worst day since they took Baghdad.

The helicopter was attacked near Falluja as it headed to Baghdad airport to transfer soldiers going on leave.

"I heard a loud boom. I closed my eyes and I prayed," said Sergeant Nelson, sitting up in bed to talk to reporters.

"After that I don't know."

Sergeant Nelson, from Orange, Texas, suffered a fractured ankle and hip and had a large bruise over his left eye. Sergeant Littlefield, from Ephrata, Washington, had a bump on the head and a few scratches.

"I felt the aircraft shift and after that I went unconscious," said Sergeant Littlefield, who had been in Iraq for little over six months, with the 43rd Combat Engineering Company, based in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Sergeant Nelson said he was one of 12 members of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Still, Oklahoma on board the Chinook helicopter.

One of his friends "didn't make it", he said.

But he told reporters he was itching to return to work in Iraq.

Sergeant Littlefield said: "We're going to be in Iraq for a long time. I'm proud to do it.

"There are a lot of people over there who need our help."

The two men, both 27, are being treated at a medical centre in Landstuhl. Eleven others remain in a serious but stable condition, while three others were being flown to an army hospital in Washington.




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