NewsLocal News


Camp Pendleton Marine injured in Kabul bombings returns to San Diego

Camp Pendleton Marine injured in Kabul bombings returns to San Diego
Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 20:19:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Camp Pendleton marine injured during the bombings in Afghanistan is back in San Diego to receive treatment.

As news of the bombings in Kabul filtered out three weeks ago, Nicole Hood was filled with dread.

She believed her nephew, 20-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine Michael Gretzon, was in Afghanistan.

“The rest of day, we were frozen until we heard from him, and we did not hear from him for hours,” said Hood.

Hood says when he reached his family, they learned he was alive, but injured. Hood released a photo of Gretzon, taken as he was being treated in the hours after the bombing.

“Michael was about 10 to 15 feet from the explosion when it happened,” said Hood.

Hood says her nephew has been reluctant to talk about the incident but believes he was behind a short barrier near Abbey Gate, outside the airport when the bomb went off.

The explosion blew out his eardrum, as it sent shrapnel into his left side.

“Hit his left shoulder and his bicep. Right now, he’s can't move below his elbow. He’s having a hard time moving,” said Hood.

With more tests yet to be done, the shrapnel has yet to be removed for fear of causing more damage.

The bombing also left Gretzon with a traumatic brain injury.

“His short-term memory right now has been affected. We’re trying to get further medical attention to see what can be done for that,” said Hood.

Gretzon was recently awarded a Purple Heart.

Hood says more than a week ago, Gretzon was transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland to Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Gretzon is one of 18 service members injured in the bombings. 13 were killed.

"The ones that survived it … They’re living the rest of their life reliving it and going through it over and over again … We’re so grateful he's alive but also worried about his future,” said Hood.

Hood says Gretzon had a goal of becoming a police officer or firefighter after his time with Marines.

Hood, who lives in Wisconsin, has set up a Gofundme campaign to help with expenses.