Matthew Renda

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November 18, 2012
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Wounded Penn Valley soldier expected to return Tuesday

Penn Valley’s wounded warrior will be coming back to his home soil for the first time since being gravely injured while on patrol in Afghanistan earlier this year.

U.S. Army Spc. Brandon Walden, a 20-year-old Penn Valley native who suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds after being attacked July 3 by an Afghan man wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform, has been making progress in his recovery and has reached the point where he was granted leave.

His mother, Laura Cummins, who hasn’t been home since she flew to San Antonio to be at her son’s side in July, is eager to come back to Penn Valley.

“We are so excited,” she said. “Brandon is so excited. I’ve talked to friends and told them we are coming back, and they all say, ‘I can’t wait to hug you.’”

The family is scheduled to arrive at Sacramento International Airport at 1 p.m. Tuesday on a United Airlines flight, and they are hoping for a large welcome contingent, Cummins said.

Four of Walden’s brothers and sisters were also in San Antonio.

Since the shooting transpired, western Nevada County has displayed its appreciation for military service and its generosity, donating time and money to help the family in its time of crisis.

The Nevada City Elks Club will be hosting another spaghetti dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. The price to attend the dinner is $6 and reservations can be made by calling (530) 265-4920.

Funds raised will be used to cover the family’s pressing rent, utilities and rental car bills.

Those interested in helping can make a donation to: Brandon Walden Donation Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 17446 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley, CA 95946.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call (530) 477-4239.

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The Union Updated Nov 18, 2012 11:41AM Published Nov 19, 2012 07:48AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.