Soldier from Mill City seriously wounded in Afghanistan - KPTV - FOX 12

Soldier from Mill City seriously wounded in Afghanistan

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MILL CITY, OR (KPTV) -

A small town is showing big support for a soldier who is fighting for his life after he was critically wounded in Afghanistan.

Friends of 26-year-old Nick Welch told FOX 12 that he was flown to a hospital in Germany where he is recovering from surgery.

"He came out a coma last night," said Brooks Becker, who is a close friend of Welch's. "So he does have some brain activity but very little."

Welch was injured and three other soldiers were killed Tuesday when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

Friends said Welch suffered a shrapnel wound to his head.

Thursday evening nearly 100 friends and loved ones held a candlelight vigil on the football field at Santiam High School.

Welch graduated from the high school in 2005 and played on the football team.

"We're going to pray for a safe recovery for Nick," said Bri Becker. "We're going to have a moment of silence for the other soldiers who lost their lives and the ones that were injured. And as a small town we're just going to be there for our hero."

Welch's immediate family could not attend Thursday's vigil. Friends said his parents and younger brother flew to Germany on Wednesday to be by his side.

A donation fund has been set up in Nick Welch's name at any Wells Fargo Bank.

Stay with FOX 12 for updates on his condition.

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