Thursday, May 25, 2006

Army Pfc. Caleb A. Lufkin

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Caleb A. Lufkin, 24, of Knoxville, Ill.

Pfc. Lufkin was assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; died May 25 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., of injuries sustained May 4 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his RG-31 mine protected vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad.


KNOXVILLE - A local soldier who was injured May 4 in Iraq by a roadside bomb died Thursday in Washington, D.C., just days after his family thought he would make a full recovery.

Army Pfc. Caleb Lufkin, 24, of Knoxville died Thursday afternoon at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center from complications during surgery to repair shrapnel damage to his left leg, according to Lufkin's father, Tammy Lufkin.

"Everybody thought he was going to be fine," Tammy Lufkin said Thursday evening after receiving the call just before 2 p.m. that his son had died.

Lufkin was a member of the 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

He suffered broken bones in his legs, both wrists, a broken foot, severed arteries and lacerations. But earlier this month, his mother, Marcy Gorsline, said he was expected to recover fully from his injuries.

Tammy Lufkin said his son suffered a heart attack and died during the surgery. He had complications with a similar surgery May 18 as well.

According to a Web page set up by Lufkin's family, he underwent a similar surgery on the same leg last week but ended up in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator after complications developed.

His father said the previous surgery rendered his blood unable to bring oxygen to his lungs, and the surgery was stopped because his oxygen level dropped.

His family had hoped Lufkin would undergo physical therapy closer to home and had high hopes he would be back to normal in no time.

"I talked to him every night," Tammy Lufkin said Thursday. The two had planned to go to Sturgis, S.D., in 2007.

The Web page at was updated by Caleb Lufkin's mother Wednesday evening. She described her son's apprehension of undergoing the surgery again, especially after the previous complications.

"They told us today (Wednesday) that it should last four to five hours," she said in the entry. "Caleb is a little nervous, to say the least, given the fact that he ended up in ICU on the vent last time they tried to work on his leg."

A benefit for Caleb Lufkin was planned for June 17 in Knoxville by Tim Frainer, an Abingdon solider who was wounded last November in Iraq.

Frainer said Thursday the benefit will bepostponed until plans can be made with the family.

Family members are planning to fly to Washington to make arrangements for Lufkin's funeral.

Caleb Lufkin's stepsister, Artie Gorsline, said the news of Lufkin's death came as a shock to the whole family.

"I was actually in shock. I really didn't believe it at first," she said.

"He was a very loving person. Everybody loved him."

Army Pfc. Caleb A. Lufkin died 05/25/06 as a result of injuries sustained in action on 05/04/06.


Anonymous said...

To all of the family and friends of this young man,
I am so sorry for your loss. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you for your service to this great nation. You gave your life so that ours may continue with all of the rights and freedoms that you fought for.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir and Mam, I treated your son on the battle field that day,I did all I could,There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of him he was very brave young man I am truly sorry for your loss.