LEWISTON – A roadside bomb Sunday seriously injured a local Maine Army National Guard soldier serving in Iraq. The soldier has been flown to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., a guard official said Wednesday.

Initial reports are that Spc. David Saucier, 22, of Lewiston was hurt after a roadside bomb exploded near the vehicle Saucier was on, Maine Army National Guard Maj. Michael Backus said.

Saucier was described Wednesday as trustworthy and patriotic, who as a high school student planned to join the military.

In the Army Guard he was a gunner on a convey riding through Iraq, Backus said. Backus said he did not know what part of Iraq the convoy was traveling through. Saucier’s job is providing security for convoys that travel between Kuwait and Iraq.

Backus said he could not give further information on the soldier’s condition or extent of his injuries. No other soldiers were injured or killed from the bomb that injured Saucier, Backus said.

On Monday, Saucier was evacuated from Iraq and flown to Walter Reed. “His family is en route to meet him there,” Backus said.

Guard officials would not release the name of Saucier’s parents. The soldier is not married, officials said.

He is serving with part of Charlie Company of the 133rd Engineer Battalion based out of Lewiston. Saucier is a 2004 graduate of Oak Hill High School in Wales. He joined the Guard in 2002 while still in school.

Teenagers who are 17 years old can join if they have written parental permission, Backus said. Typically those who join with parental permission do so between their junior and senior year, and don’t begin serving until after they graduate.

Oak Hill Principal Patricia Doyle said Wednesday that the school’s faculty is shocked and worried about their former student.

“We’re wishing his family well; we’re wishing David well and want him back.” she said.

Reports the school has received on Saucier’s condition “leave us encouraged, but guarded,” she added.

Saucier is the first Oak Hill graduate injured in the war. No Oak Hill graduates have been killed in Iraq, she said.

While in high school, Saucier talked to Doyle about his plans to join the military despite the war. Saucier stopped by the office on his way from Lewiston Regional Technical Center classes, she said.

“In our conversations about it he felt a sense of duty,” Doyle said. “He was patriotic. He felt he needed to take some time and give back to the country. He made that decision; he needed to serve.”

Doyle described Saucier as “a solid, good kid,” a hard worker, someone who supported other students “and would give the shirt off his back” for others.

Doyle said Athletic Director Bill Fairchild had Saucier in his advanced physical education classes, and described him as trustworthy, “someone who would have your back,” Doyle said.

In his Augusta Guard office, Backus said that whenever soldiers are deployed in a dangerous situations “We’re always thinking about them there.” Soldiers “have many friends and family in the organization.” Whenever a guardsman, especially one they know, “is injured or wounded, it goes right to the heart,” Backus said.

In Lewiston, there was a heightened concern for Saucier among local soldiers in the 133rd, said platoon Sgt. Gary O’Connell.

“There’s been a lot of phone calls from his comrades asking ‘Is he OK,'” O’Connell said. He added that they don’t yet know the extent of Saucier’s injuries.

But “we’re glad to hear he’s alive, he made it out of there, and he’s getting good medical attention,” he said.

It’s sad, O’Connell said, that Saucier “was almost out of the woods,” only a month before leaving Iraq, when injured.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.