SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) – Cpl. Eric McCue, the Marine infantryman who stepped on a land mine in Iraq, is now receiving treatment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., his father said Monday.

McCue’s mother, Betsy Maxwell, arrived in North Carolina on Monday, and his father plans to join them Wednesday.

McCue, 21, of South Portland, flew on Friday to Andrews Air Force Base, spent the night at Bethesda Naval Hospital and flew to Camp Lejeune on Saturday, Jeffrey McCue said.

The Marine, a graduate of South Portland High School in 2000, lost two toes on his left foot, fractured his right foot and experienced some problems with shrapnel, Jeffrey McCue said.

“There’s exposure of the bone, and they’ve been trying to make sure they can keep on fighting off infection,” McCue’s father said.

McCue is scheduled to be transported Tuesday to East Carolina University Hospital in Greenville, where doctors will remove muscle tissue from his back to graft onto his feet, his father said.

The infantryman will have to undergo several grafts and then work on rehabilitation for about six months, Jeffrey McCue said.

“He’s going to have a long road, they said, because they were very serious injuries,” his father said.

Eric McCue was serving with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines when he was deployed to Kuwait in January. He participated in fighting near Nasiriyah, Iraq.

“Eric said he saw battle every day,” Jeff McCue said. “He slept three hours a night, he never really ate.”

The Marine told his father in a phone call that on Sunday he took his first shower since March 17.

McCue will be able to come home for a short period at some point, his father said, but not until he’s done fighting infections and undergoing the skin-muscle grafts.

Jeffrey McCue said he told his son the family has received an outpouring of support from the community.

“I said, ‘Eric, people think you’re a hero,’ and he said, ‘Dad, I was just doing my job.’ He doesn’t really realize how he’s thought of,” McCue said. “I’m very proud of him, and I’m glad he’s home safe.”



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