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Injured soldier returns home

Chris Drewes said he is happy to be home to see friends, family and trees.
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Master-Cpl Chris Drews returned home to Thunder Bay Friday and was greeted by family and friends including dad Jack (right) and step-mom Julie. (Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com)
Chris Drewes said he is happy to be home to see friends, family and trees.

The 24-year-old master-corporal landed in Thunder Bay Friday afternoon after returning from Kandahar, Afghanistan where he was recovering from injuries sustained from an explosion while on foot patrol with his 1st Battalion Princess Patricia Light Infantry unit eight kilometres outside of the country’s capital on April 11.

Kitchener’s Pte. Tyler William Todd was killed in the blast; Drewes suffered extensive wounds to his right shoulder. He underwent two surgeries to try to repair the damage.

"I just don’t have full rotation of my arm," Drewes said of his injury at the Thunder Bay International Airport. "It kind of just hangs by my side."

He now has two scars from the damage and said the tattoo he had on his shoulder now looks a bit messy.

"The physiotherapist said I have better range of motion in my shoulder than he does, so considering a jagged Dorito went through at the speed of light, that’s pretty good," he said. "I just keep using it and stretching it."

Drewes mother Maureen was anxious to see her son and was ready to give him a hug.

"As a mother I tried not to think where he was, but it’s hard knowing that he was over there, not knowing what he was actually going through," she said. "I’m glad he’s home on safe ground in Canada."

She was happy to see her son and although he said he was fine, she said a mother always wants to make sure for herself.

His father Jack and step-mom Julie were also there to greet Drewes with a large number of other family members and friends.

"It’s a great day," said Jack Drewes. "He’s out of that place and he’s done his duty and has given his pound of flesh."

Knowing his son is home is a considerable relief.

"You sort of realize what really matters in life and that’s making sure your family and friends are safe," said Jack Drewes.

In October, Drewes will be posted in Montreal where he’ll teach basic training. Until then, his plans are up in the air. For right now, he said it just feels good to be home.

"(Tonight) I’ll grab a bottle of scotch and listen to Pink Floyd, hang out with my friends," he said.